With the announcement this morning that Texas and Oklahoma were not going to renew their media grant of rights with the Big 12 Conference when the original commitment expires in 2025, college athletics once again finds itself in the middle of a crisis. Currently at eight teams, the Big 12 would lack enough conference opponents to play a full regular slate in most sports. They are now faced with having to lure other teams to join just to survive.
The timing could not be more fraught.
Just when the Power 5 needs experienced, conference office leadership, there is little to be found. George Kliavkoff (Pac-12) is brand new to college athletics and the Power 5 dynamics. Kevin Warren (Big Ten) is only a bit more seasoned with one year in the middle of the pandemic under his belt. Jim Phillips, the former athletics director turned ACC conference commissioner, has his own challenges what with the unique relationship with Notre Dame and the desire to bring their football program into the fold. Bob Bowlsby (Big 12) has a significant problem on his hands with keeping his own conference together. That leaves Greg Sankey, who is currently one of the most influential persons in all of college sports, sitting in the front row.