Months after it announced that it was considering expansion, the Big 12 has decided against adding any schools at the present time.
In July it was reported that the Big 12 would begin studying its options for adding two to four schools, with expansion potentially taking effect by next season. What was apparent from the beginning was that facilities would be a big part of the process. The University of Houston was viewed as a contender because of its media market and the recently-constructed, $128 million TDECU Stadium (shown above), while other schools were touting recent facility upgrades across its programs.
Also in the mix at various points was Colorado State, which is set to open a new football stadium next year. However, none of the universities that were up for consideration were discussed by Big 12 officials during their most recent meeting. More from the Houston Chronicle:
Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 commissioner, and University of Oklahoma president David Boren, president of the league’s board of directors, said league CEOs decided unanimously against expansion and agreed to remove the topic as an active agenda item.
They said individual candidates, including UH and Rice University among 11 finalists, were never discussed during meetings Sunday night and a six-hour session Monday.
“We all came to a unanimous decision that this was not the right time (for expansion),” Boren said. “All the information generated was not wasted effort. They (candidate schools) presented themselves in a very fine light, and we appreciate them.”
Most of the schools connected to the Big 12 in recent months are still moving ahead with their facility plans. Colorado State has already sold out its premium seating options at the new stadium, and Houston is committing resources to a renovation of its basketball arena, which will become known as the Fertitta Center. SMU is also expected to proceed with plans for a new soccer stadium and football practice facility.
Image courtesy University of Houston athletics.