ARLINGTON, Texas — Any time Brett Yormark has publicly spoken since taking over as the Big 12’s commissioner, conference realignment has been the topic everyone wants to hear about. But Yormark was quieter than usual on the topic at Big 12 Media Days.
Yormark opened the conference’s start to the new athletic year, where the discussion of the Big 12 looking for new schools to add was bound to come up, but Yormark wasn’t as direct as some might have thought Wednesday.
He referred back to his comments last Big 12 Media Days about the league being “open for business” but clarified Wednesday that those comments didn’t necessarily mean expansion but rather how the league got its TV deal done ahead of schedule, how the league is reaching into Mexico and the “win-win” scenario of the accelerated exit of Oklahoma and Texas.
Yormark said there is a plan in regards to expansion, but the plan apparently works best behind closed doors.
“Relative to expansion I said coming out of our spring business meetings at the Greenbrier that we have a plan, and we have a plan for expansion, and I’m not going to really address it today,” Yormark said. “You can ask me, but I’m not really going to address it. We do have a plan, and hopefully we can execute that plan sooner than later. But as I’ve always said, I love the composition of this conference right now. The excitement the four new members have brought to this conference has been incredible, and if we stay at 12, we’re perfectly fine with that.
“If the opportunity presents itself where there’s something that creates value and aligns well with our goals and objectives, starting with the board, then we’re certainly going to pursue it.”
The eyes of most in regards to Big 12 expansion revolves around the “four-corner schools” of Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah.
Yormark was asked broadly about westward expansion, but as with his earlier comments, he kept things close to the vest.
“Right now, there’s nothing on the board,” Yormark said. “Again, we’ll explore all options, but until that point, we love the current makeup and we’re excited about it.”
Even as early as a few weeks back, Yormark said he liked the idea of staying at 14 teams even after OU-Texit. But after further deliberation, Yormark said on a few occasions that he doesn’t want to chase a number.
“I did say 14, you’re absolutely right,” Yormark said. “I do think there’s strength in numbers. But I also said we’re not chasing a number. If and when the opportunity presents itself to stay at 14, we’ll pursue it. But I did say that, and I backpedaled a little bit because I realize it’s not about chasing a number. It’s all about creating value for membership. We’ll see where that takes us.”