Former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe spoke at a University of Texas panel. Beebe, who oversaw the conference losing Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and Texas A&M, remains more than a tad bitter about his departure. He told those assembled: “I feel like the conference was driving over a cliff, and they turned the bus around and ran me over.”
Beebe wanted a “grant of rights” agreement before his ouster. He found the conference implementing one after he left “bittersweet.”
“It’s sweet because hopefully it will be what binds this conference together and I have a great love for the conference,” he said. “But it’s bitter because had we taken these actions previously we may have been able to avoid the problems that have occurred.”
Alas, Beebe’s job was to sell schools on the idea and implement it, not just conceive of it. Him trailing ineffectually behind the bus in that metaphor was part of the problem.
On a semi-related note, it will be interesting to see how the Big 12 moves forward. Things are stable now, with the grant of rights, the new TV deal and the Longhorn Network not being nearly the factor everyone thought. Schools such as Oklahoma State and Baylor hitting historic heights in football, helps as well.
That said, the jury remains out on the additions of TCU and West Virginia long-term, especially in Louisville’s stead. “10” seems like a fine number now. That competitive advantage will be erased when the Big Ten and SEC finally get around to implementing a nine-game schedule. The “grant of rights” only delays instability. It does not obviate it.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]