Big 12 decides against expansion, UConn will not join the conference
DALLAS — After months of consideration, the Big 12 conference has decided not to expand, Sports Illustrated reports.
The Big 12’s university presidents and commissioner Bob Bowlsby met in Dallas Monday to discuss the possibility of adding teams to the conference. That means UConn will not be switching conferences.
The school released a statement after the news broke:
In association with UConn’s prospective admission to the Big 12 Conference, the university submitted various multimedia materials to the conference in support of its candidacy. While disclosure of these materials were protected under a confidentiality agreement requested by the conference, given the conclusion of the conference expansion process, the university believes these materials to be public records.
The Big 12 has been analyzing expansion options for the last three months, but it has made no commitment to adding to its 10 members and could stand pat.
Big 12 officials held interviews in September with 11 potential new members: Air Force, BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Connecticut, Houston, Rice, South Florida, SMU and Tulane.
The Big 12 has been tossing around the idea of expansion for almost two years as it tries to find ways to increase revenue and improve the conference’s chances to make the College Football Playoff.
University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst says she expected the Big 12 would decide not to expand and is not disappointed that UConn wasn’t invited to join the conference.
Herbst, who also serves as chairman of the board of directors for the American Athletic Conference, tells The Associated Press that the experience of making a presentation to the Power Five league gave her a better understanding of where the American stands in the athletic spectrum and what UConn has to offer as a top athletic and academic institution.
“Most of the schools they were talking to were in our conference,” Herbst said. “I think that shows, without question, that our conference plays at their level and are athletically and academically appropriate to be a Power Five.”
Herbst said the school will continue to work to improve its revenue model, but that UConn is not actively looking to leave the American.