Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark delivered insights into the Big 12’s meetings in West Virginia this week, and conference expansion continues to hold the spotlight.
“We had a great discussion about expansion and we have a plan,” Yormark said. “We have an appetite to be a national conference in our makeup from coast-to-coast, and we do believe in the upside of basketball moving forward as a collective group.”
For eight years in a row, the Big 12 has sent over half its members to the NCAA Tournament. Two of the three NCAA champions since the canceled 2020 season have been Big 12 teams.
While basketball has thrusted the conference back into national relevance amid the impending exodus of two of its premier programs, the commissioner noted that “football is the driver,” in terms of revenue. Cincinnati, Houston, BYU and UCF will each play their first season in the Big 12 this fall.
“We love our current composition,” he said. “[We] love the four new schools coming in. However, if the opportunity presents itself to create value, we will pursue it. I’m not going to address expansion beyond that today, but it is a focus of ours.”
When the 2024 realignment is settled, the Big 12 will also undergo a rebrand, but do not expect a name change.
“Next year, you will see a brand refresh, which we’re very excited about,” Yormark said. “It’s a refresh. It’s not a logo change, and certainly not a name change.”
He also announced that $440 million in profits from the Big 12’s TV rights deal will be distributed between the conference’s 10 teams from the 2022-23 season, including Oklahoma and Texas.
The Big 12 signed a new TV rights contract with ESPN and Fox Sports in October that will run through 2030-31 and will be worth a reported $2.3 billion. The new deal could see Big 12 schools earn close to $50 million annually.