Big 12 News

Brett Yormark Addresses Big 12 Expansion and Being ‘Open For Business’

Brett Yormark

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark held a press conference on Friday with Baylor University President Linda Livingston to address the Big 12’s present and future.

Yormark said, in part, in his opening statement, “When I took this job, I said the Big 12 was open for business and I guess you could say we’re open for business now more than ever before.”


When the Q&A portion of the press conference came up, I asked the commissioner if his statement meant he was actively exploring Big 12 expansion.

His answer, “No, I’m not. We explore every and all opportunity to create value for our members for our student-athletes. It’s what we’ve been doing since I onboarded and we’ll continue to have that mindset.”

“Open for business” is the infamous line from when Yormark took the job back in 2022, and he has used that line periodically during his time as Big 12 commissioner.

During his tenure, which has been less than 24 months, the Big 12 has done nothing but be aggressive and expand, with the Four Corner schools of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah set to join the conference later this summer.

The Pac-12 had been on thin ice since the departure of USC and UCLA in the summer of 2022, and the league collapse last summer when Oregon and Washington left for the Big Ten, which led to the four aforementioned schools bolting for the Big 12.


Yormark’s aggressiveness, most notably his ability to get a TV deal extension done ahead of the Pac-12 in 2022, led to the Big 12 jumping the line and becoming a more stable conference than the Pac-12, which flailed in its own TV contract negotiations. This eventually led to the conference’s demise.

Now, all eyes are on the ACC, where two of its heavyweights, Florida State and Clemson, are actively exploring ways out of the conference. Most recently, Brett McMurphy reported that the two schools are “going to leave the ACC”.

This could create more opportunity for the Big 12. And while Yormark isn’t going to show his cards, he’s clearly keeping an eye on the situation to his East, just as he was looking to his West over the last 18 months.

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