The Big 12 expansion committee will meet this afternoon for the first time since the decision to invite West Virginia as the league’s 10th member was finalized, a league spokesman confirmed this morning.
But that does not mean there has been significant movement in the idea of adding Louisville or Brigham Young to the league’s 10-member configuration that will exist for the 2012-13 school year. The Chronicle of Higher Education, citing sources, reported today that the addition of at least one new member to the Big 12 was “very possible.”
Throughout the expansion process, league officials have acknowledged some conference schools favor a 10-member configuration and others prefer a 12-member league. Today’s meeting is an attempt to sound out those differences, said Bob Burda, the Big 12’s associate commissioner for communications.
“There is nothing imminent in regard to expansion,” Burda said. “We have never ruled out the possibility of further expansion. I don’t know if anything is going to come out of (today’s meeting) other than charting the course for future calls” to discuss possibilities.
In addition, Burda said league officials anticipate “wiggle room” from TV networks if the Big 12 is unable to provide 2012 football schedules by the Feb. 1 deadline specified in existing contracts. Until there is clarity about West Virginia’s departure date from the Big East, which is in the process of being settled in court, Burda said the Big 12 is in “a holding pattern” in regard to releasing schedules that include West Virginia as a 2012 member.
Burda said today's meeting of the expansion committe is not related to issues regarding finalization of the 2012 football schedules.
_ Jimmy Burch