K-State AD Gene Taylor Says Big 12 Needs to ‘Stay Aggressive’

It’s no secret that Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark has been on the attack since he took over in August 2022. He got a TV deal done before the Pac-12 that same year, and then in 2023, he was able to bring in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Arizona State to the conference.

His aggressiveness is not something we are used to seeing in the Big 12. For years, the conference we all know and love was more reactive than proactive under previous leadership.

That’s no longer the case with Brett Yormark, though. Yormark isn’t afraid to think outside the box and try something new.


In fact, his outside-the-box mentality and aggressive nature helped the Big 12 survive after Texas and Oklahoma agreed to leave for the SEC.

No disrespect whatsoever to former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, but I don’t know if he would have been able to do what Yormark has done over the last two years. Yormark has been something of a force of nature, and the folks operating under his leadership—namely the conference’s athletic directors—are standing behind him.

Kansas State AD Gene Taylor is a shining example of that support. Taylor is not just one of the most well-respected athletic directors in the Big 12 but the entire country.


During a recent interview with the 3MAW podcast, Gene had this to say regarding Brett Yormark: “As a conference, we need to stay aggressive, and that’s what Brett has done from the minute he got here.

“Whether it was going out and getting the four corner schools to looking at different things like halftime shows and game sponsors. Much of the stuff he has been bringing to all of us has been way outside the box for us at the collegiate level. He’s brought the professional NBA attitude. I think we all feel like we have to get outside the box, whether it’s institutionally or as a conference, and being as aggressive as we can be.”

Gene absolutely hit the nail on the head. The man totally gets it, and he is with Brett Yormark 100%. Last week, I said that the Big 12 had a choice to make with the whole naming rights and private equity thing. They can either get in the ring with the Big Ten and the SEC or watch from the front row like the ACC. It appears that not only is Brett Yormark willing to stand up to the Big Ten and the SEC, but so are athletic directors like Gene Taylor.

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