Tag:SEC Expansion
Posted on: February 28, 2012 5:38 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 5:40 pm
 

Big 12 announces settlement with TAMU, Missouri

Posted by Chip Patterson

A Big 12 football season without Texas A&M and Missouri began to take shape earlier this month when both the conference and the SEC released their 2012 regular season schedule. The Tigers to the SEC East and the Aggies to the SEC West happened quickly, but the fine print of the transaction required much more work.

On Tuesday, the Big 12 announced their settlement with both schools as they make their official exit in time for the 2012-2013 academic year. Texas A&M and Missouri will no longer be members of the conference effective June 30, 2012. In order to get approval from the Big 12's eight continuing member institutions, some sacrifices needed to be made. For starters, the league will withhold an estimated $12.41 million from the revenues otherwise distributable to each school. You can check out the official wording for Missouri and Texas A&M below:

The Conference will withhold an estimated $12,410,000 from the revenues otherwise distributable to the University. In addition, Missouri agreed that it would waive any claim to any of the benefits received by the Big 12 Conference from its television contract with Fox Sports, scheduled to commence July 1, 2012. Also, Missouri agreed to pay the Big 12 Conference for its share of the actual cost of officiating expenses for 2011-12 athletic year as it has done in previous years, in the approximate amount of $500,000.

Texas A&M's agreement, nearly identical to Missouri's just without the inclusion of the officiating costs.

The Conference will withhold an estimated $12,410,000 from Texas A&M's projected distribution for fiscal year 2012. However, the parties agreed that A&M will receive a portion of the benefit received by the Big 12 Conference from the signing of its television contract with Fox Sports, scheduled to commence July 1, 2012, and certain other concessions.

Big 12 Conference Commissioner Chuck Neinas called both agreements "fair" in their respective releases, and with the final details settled both schools can focus on their future in the SEC.

For all the latest expansion rumors and headlines, check out our Conference Realignment Home.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:40 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 2:23 pm
 

SEC paying out record $19.5 million to members

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The SEC is richer than it's ever been--but is it rich enough?

The Birmingham News reported Friday that according to the league's tax documents, the SEC distributed a conference record $19.5 million to each of its member schools for the 2010-2011 season, an increase of $1.2 million on both its 2009-2010 payout and its initial 2011 estimates. Thanks to the new(ish) CBS Sports/ESPN television contracts fueling the increase, those revenues also represent a whopping $6.5 million per-school bump -- a 50 percent increase -- over the league's distribution numbers just two seasons before. 

That's the great news for the SEC. The less-great news is that those figures still leave them a bit behind the Joneses Mike Slive is looking to keep up with in the Big Ten and Pac-12; the Sports Business Journal recently estimated those conferences' per-member distributions* at "close to $21 million," with the growth from their respective networks expected to push those numbers even higher in the coming years. The SEC, meanwhile, is locked into its current contracts until 2023, with TV revenue only increasing 3 percent in the second year of the league's new deals. 

That those revenues will be divided 14 ways rather than 12 following the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri would be another headache for Slive if those additions didn't also open up the possibility for a renegotiation of those television contracts. The ACC's ongoing expansion-triggered renegotiation is expected to net the league an additional $1 to $2 million per team per year--hardly chump change, but likely not the sort of numbers that would keep the SEC even with the Big Ten and Pac-12 come 2017 or '18, much less the tail end of its current contract (which could also be extended as part of the renegotiation).

Make no mistake: the SEC is currently swimming in money, will continue to swim in money, and has the kind of advantages that have nothing to do with money -- overwhelming fan interest, proximity to recruiting hotbeds, a firmly cemented reputation as college football's gold standard -- that will keep it at or near the top of the college football heap. Slive is hardly in crisis management mode. But "or near" may not be good enough for the SEC after its recent run, and a potential $4 or $5 million gap per-school between the league and its Midwestern/West Coast "rivals" -- sustained over a period of years -- could (or would?) eventually even (or even tilt) the playing field. 

Times are no doubt very, very good for the SEC both on the field and in its checkbook. But the upcoming negotiations between the league and its TV partners will likely play a huge role in whether future times are as very good or not.

*The SBJ also estimated the SEC's distribution figure at only $17 million, which could be either a good sign or a bad one from an SEC perspective; if that figure was simply wrong while the Big Ten's and Pac-12's was accurate, then the gap isn't as wide as believed. But if the SBJ was simply being conservative across the board and the B1G's/P12's numbers are also underestimated, it would mean those leagues' networks and TV deals have established a substantial financial edge even before they really get rolling.    

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 5:16 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 5:18 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As of this moment, there is -- almost without question -- no more powerful coach in all of college football than Alabama's Nick Saban. But as it turns out, even Saban couldn't pull enough strings to get someone other than Missouri the coveted 14th invite to the SEC.

That's according to the account provided to the Charleston Daily Mail by West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, West Virginia University graduate, who said he and Saban had spoken and "were working toward" snagging that invitation for the Mountaineers before the league settled on the Tigers. Both Saban and his wife Terry are West Virginia natives, and Saban spent two seasons in the late '70s as a defensive assistant for the Mountaineers.

"I thought we could have been in the SEC," Manchin said. "I talked to my dear friend Nick Saban about that, and, like me, he said, 'I would like West Virginia in the SEC,' and we were working toward that."

The Charleston Gazette also reported in October that Saban had been lobbying behind the scenes for West Virginia. But to no avail: Missouri was officially added as the SEC's 14th team in early November.

"They chose Missouri instead, and then you never heard a thing else about it," Manchin said.

That decision helped lead to a bitter political struggle between Manchin and Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell. McConnell, a Louisville graduate and Republican, reportedly attempted to block the Mountaineers' bid to join the Big 12 with the hopes of getting the Cardinals the invitation instead; Manchin, a Democrat, responded by publicly calling for Congress to hold hearings on whether McConnell had committed an ethics violation.

In the end, of course, Manchin and the Mountaineers got their happy ending -- they're not even going to have to wait an extra year -- and Manchin says the feud with McConnell is in the past. But with as powerful an ally as Saban on his side, you have to wonder if he doesn't wonder what might have been if the SEC had lent a more friendly ear.

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Posted on: November 5, 2011 6:10 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 6:31 pm
 

Report: Mizzou to SEC announced 'early next week'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The long song-and-dance between the SEC and Missouri appears nearly over.

A Sporting News report Saturday cited a "high-placed SEC source" that said the Tigers would be officially announced as the SEC's 14th team "early next week," possibly as soon as this Monday.

The report has since been confirmed by CBSSports.com senior writer Dennis Dodd.

Mike Slive declined to comment on the report.

The source claimed that Missouri will be added to the SEC's East division, balancing the addition of Texas A&M to the West and preserving the Alabama-Tennessee annual rivalry that might have been jeopardized if Auburn had been shifted to the East instead. 

Though the Sporting News report did not mention whether the Tigers would join the league in time to play the 2012 SEC season, the recent leak of a pre-prepared welcome page on the SEC wesbite and Slive's admission the league is preparing for "13 or 14 team schedules" would seem to indicate they will.

The report suggests that the announcement could have been made earlier, but that Slive and the SEC did not want to detract from the buildup to tonight's mega-tilt between LSU and Alabama. 

The Sporting News also reported that the league would be interested in creating its own network for the purpose of airing "low-tier non-conference games." Many of those are currently aired on pay-per-view packages or the regionally-aired "SEC Sports Network."
Posted on: October 28, 2011 12:03 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 11:10 am
 

Leaked SEC statement welcomes Missouri to league

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Barring someone having pulled off the new Guinness world's record for Most Convincing April Fool's prank in late October, the SEC is (or was) poised and ready to welcome Missouri to the league this coming (or past) Monday--as an introductory statement dated Oct. 22 leaked on the conference's own website made clear late Thursday night.

The statement includes references to an announcement yet-to-be made by Mike Slive, links to related introductory Missouri content, and July 1, 2012 specified as the date in which the Tigers would officially join the league. As of 11:40 ET Thursday night, the page appeared on the official "SEC Digital Network" site like this:



The page and all associated content had been removed by 11:55 ET.

If it wasn't already safe to assume Missouri was headed to the SEC before, it certainly is now. The July 1 date would also corroborate the news dropped by Slive Thursday that the league was still aiming for the Tigers to join before the 2012 football season.

The questions now are: if the announcement had been planned last Monday, what kept the SEC and Missouri from releasing it? And now that we know Missouri's acceptance is a mere formality, how long until the league (and the Tigers) drop the pretense?

The statement reads in part:
Given the ever-changing conference paradigm over the past year, the Southeastern Conference has continued to demonstrate its commitment to maintaining its stature as one of the nation’s premier conferences by welcoming the University of Missouri as the league’s 14th member, Commissioner Mike Slive announced Monday. 

Missouri joins Texas A&M University as the league’s two new institutions who will begin full membership on July 1, 2012. It is the first expansion of the SEC membership since Arkansas and South Carolina joined the conference in 1992 ... 

Geographically, it is a natural fit as the state of Missouri touches more states (Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee) that currently are home to an SEC institution than any other state that is not in the league’s previous 13-member footprint. Like the majority of the cities in the SEC, Columbia, Mo., is a college-centered town with a metropolitan population of 164,283, making it the fifth-largest city in the state of Missouri ...

Missouri is one of only 35 public U.S. universities invited to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). It will become the fourth SEC school that is part of the AAU, joining Florida, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

Monday’s announcement marks just the fourth time in the history of the conference that the SEC will expand its membership. In a landscape that has seemed ever-changing in recent years, the SEC has exemplified stability as 10 of its original 13 members remain.
For a look at the full webpage, click here.

UPDATE: An SEC spokesman has described the appearance of the pages as a "web vendor mistake" and stated there is "no agreement" between the league and Missouri.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 6:33 pm
 

PIC: Texas A&M vandals tag Texas campus

Posted by Chip Patterson

The bad blood between Texas and Texas A&M will not end with the Aggies' departure from the Big 12 to the SEC. While the challenge of continuing the on-field rivalry is in the hands of university administrators, the off-field war will likely wage well into the future. The most recent act of vandalism was likely the work of Aggies, assumed by the giant Texas A&M logo spray painted on Texas' campus.

The photo below marks the walkway in front of the Applied Computational Engineering and Sciences building, one of several areas that were affected by vandalism either Friday night or Saturday morning. "GiG em Aggies" was also spray painted along a bridge connecting the Winship Drama Building to San Jacinto Boulevard, in addition to other phrases and images on the Longhorns' campus.

(Image credit: The Daily Texan)



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Posted on: October 6, 2011 10:19 am
 

Report: Not enough SEC votes to add Missouri yet

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

According to a report from the Birmingham News, Missouri may not have the support needed to join the SEC after all.

The News's Jon Solomon reported Thursday morning that the "majority" of conference presidents and ADs would support the Tigers' application to become the league's 14th team, but that that majority "falls just short of the nine votes required" to give Missouri final approval.

According to Solomon's sources, those opposed to Missouri's membership have two points of contention. The first is that the SEC can simply "do better" than the Tigers. The other is that adding a team to the SEC West rather than East would disrupt the league's scheduling and rivalries.

The debate has reportedly led to a split between Auburn and Alabama, with the Crimson Tide opposed to Missouri's application and their in-state rivals in favor. Adding Missouri would almost certainly shift Auburn to the East division, restoring the Tigers' traditional annual rivalries with Tennessee and Florida, but potentially scuttling the Tide's yearly "Third Saturday in October" grudge match with the Volunteers. (With only one annual "cross-division" game on the schedule, Alabama couldn't play both Tennessee and Auburn with both in the East, at least not without a nine-game conference schedule.)

As noted by Solomon, Missouri's application won't be helped by an anonymous official telling the Associated Press Wednesday that the SEC would be the Tigers' second choice after the Big Ten. The public admission that Missouri might look elsewhere if the Big Ten asked them to surely won't sit well with a league that -- surely -- can find other partners that would be 100 percent committed.

So a move that looked like all but certain when the Mizzou Board of Curators voted to explore their options Tuesday now has another clear, visible hurdle in front of it. (At minimum, the SEC's plans for a 13-team 2012 season look that much closer to being set in stone.) The guess here remains that in the end, the allure of Missouri's Kansas City/St. Louis television markets will be too much for Mike Slive and the SEC to ignore (especially with the league angling for a new TV contract), and that the SEC's stability and overflowing coffers will be too much for even the Big Ten-focused Missouri officials to turn down.

But at the very least, Mizzou-to-the-SEC appears to be a deal that isn't done just yet.

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Posted on: October 5, 2011 5:42 pm
 

SEC actively planning for 2012 13-team schedule

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The SEC could be on the verge of welcoming Missouri as its 14th team. But for now, it's pressing ahead on its plans for the 2012-2013 season without the Tigers.

The Associated Press had already reported that the conference's athletic directors were meeting to discuss matters pertaining to Texas A&M's arrival as the league's lucky 13th team. Wednesday afternoon the league released its own statement on the content of those discussions, a statement which reads in full:
“Today's meeting of the SEC athletic directors was planned immediately following the announcement of Texas A&M joining the league.  The purpose of the meeting was to integrate Texas A&M into the Southeastern Conference and plan for a 13-team schedule for all sports in 2012-13.  The transition team from the SEC office made its initial report in this meeting to the athletics directors with the focus on scheduling and championship formats.  The SEC is excited to have Texas A&M in the league and looks forward to having the Aggies compete in the SEC next year.”
The most important phrase in that statement? The "plan for a 13-team schedule in all sports" ... which does only echo previous statements by both Mike Slive and other officials around the league that they were fully prepared to move forward for at least one year with only 13 teams, but is the first public confirmation that the conference is actually doing that moving forward.

Of course, until those schedules are released -- and maybe even for some time afterward -- there's still plenty of wiggle room for Missouri to get shoehorned into the 2012 SEC season. But if the clock hadn't already started ticking on the Tigers decision, Wednesday's meeting would seem to indicate it certainly has now.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com