Tag:Dan Beebe
Posted on: August 10, 2011 11:45 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 11:49 pm

Report: Beebe taking Texas A&M rumors 'seriously'

Posted by Chip Patterson

The man who has worked so furiously to hold the Big 12 together says he's taking reports of Texas A&M to the SEC "very seriously." Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe spoke to the American-Statesman on Wednesday night about the issue. He said he has not been in contact with any Texas A&M administration members, Beebe has been preoccupied with Mark Emmert's presidential retreat in Indianapolis.

"I've been doing that and dealing with this firestorm at the same time," Beebe said. "I'll put it this way, I'm taking it very seriously. I've been talking to a number of people. Obviously, there are a significant number of Aggie supporters who are interested in going in that direction."

One reason Aggie supporters are reportedly so adamant about the move is in response to the conference's handling of Texas and the ESPN-supported Longhorn Network. Texas president William Powers was also at the NCAA summit, and reportedly also discussed the issue with Beebe.  What many dismissed as internet rumors took on new life when Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin released this statement on Wednesday:

President Loftin is committed to doing what is best for Texas A&M not only now, but also in the future. We continue to have wide-ranging conversations regarding all aspects of the university, including both academics and athletics.

The timing and wording of that message made it appear awfully cryptic considering the circumstances. All of the Big 12 athletic directors met a week ago to discuss the Longhorn Network, and they voted unanimously to postpone the broadcasting of high school games for one year. At the time, it seemed as though the weakened conference was once again on the same page.

"We had a tremendous meeting with the athletic directors," Beebe told the American-Statesman. "My view was everybody was comfortable with it."

It seems Texas A&M is either uncomfortable with the current conditions in the Big 12, or just exploring their options. Either way all signs point to these conversations with the SEC appear to be happening. But we can only wait to see if anything comes from them.

For more on this story as it develops, keep it here at the Eye on College Football and follow us on Twitter
Posted on: July 21, 2011 7:18 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 7:29 pm

Beebe issues statement on Longhorn Network

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This isn't exactly news, per se; you could have read in this space first thing this morning that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe had put a temporary hold on the Longhorn Network's plans to air Texas high school games and one Longhorn conference matchup. But with rumors about Texas A&M and Oklahoma's levels of discontent with the promised network continuing to swirl, Beebe issued an official league statement Thursday afternoon regarding the joint venture between Texas and ESPN.

The statement reads:
The Conference members are committed to working together to address issues in a manner that benefits all members. There are elements of our new television agreement, which take effect in 2012, that need clarification and the members will be working together to develop a process that will work to the benefit of the entire Conference. Until the members have a chance to consider all the issues and come to conclusion about how the Conference will manage the interplay between the Conference television package and institutional networks, no more than one live football game will be televised on any institutional network and no high school content will be televised on a branded member’s network.
In other words: High school games and the promised Big 12 game aren't totally ruled out yet ... but until the Aggies and Sooners are satisfied that the Longhorn Network's policies are truly "benfitting all members" of the Big 12, don't expect them to get the OK any time soon.

But at the same time, that the Longhorns (and their television partners) appear to be willing to reach some kind of compromise might indicate that the rumored A&M/Oklahoma-to-the-SEC split might not be in the immediate future, either.

Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:38 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 8:56 am

Big 12 hits pause on Longhorn Network's HS plans

Posted by Chip Patterson

As soon as the general public got wind of the Longhorn Network's plan to televise high school games, red flags went up across the nation. CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd mentioned that ESPN VP Dave Brown may have committed an NCAA violation by mentioning the names of two 2012 Texas commits in a June radio interview. The network has already asked the NCAA for guidelines on televising high school football games, but the weakened Big 12 conference wants to make sure the network has the league's best interests in mind as well.

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe announced a temporary hold on the telecasts of high school football games on the Longhorn Network. Both the NCAA and Big 12 still need to make decisions on how the pending high school football media deal should be handled.

"It's not going to happen until and unless the conference can make it happen with benefit to all and detriment to none," Beebe told the Dallas Morning News. "It's fair to say what [ESPN VP Dave Brown] said publicly is why we're having conversations about this new world and what the parameters are."

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds has stated that the university is ready to cooperate and wants to play by the rules in regards to the new network, and pledged his allegiance to the conference.

The recent developments with the network have re-started the rumors of Texas' rivals looking to leave the conference. Texas A&M's board of regents reportedly will hold a closed door meeting at the end of this week to discuss the new network, and wild (but concerning) rumors have swirled about Oklahoma considering a departure as well. The potential in-state recruiting advantage provided by airing high school football games on the network would be huge for the Longhorns, particularly if the game selection focused on the verbal commits and/or the highest profile recruits.

Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 12:45 pm

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Let's be fair to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany: When Delany speaks in this USA Today article on the problems plaguing major college athletics and the potential "fundamental changes" (to use Delany's Big 12 counterpart Dan Beebe's term) that might result, he's clearly not expecting the NCAA's power conferences to secede from the current model:
"Don't blame structure," Delany says, "until you have a group of core presidents, athletic directors, commissioners and coaches who are willing to embrace real change" and are shot down.
That's a lot of people to all wrangle onto the same page. But if that "group" is "shot down"?
"At that juncture," he says, "then I think it's fair to look at how else you get it."
Delany's not spelling it out, but he doesn't have to. "How else you get it" means one thing and one thing only: taking the Big Ten's (and the SEC's and Pac-12's and I guess the Big 12's and ACC's) ball and going home to a post-NCAA college athletics superleague.

And if that first quote indicates that (as the USA Today writes) that kind of split isn't yet "on the agenda," it's not that difficult to see that kind of consortium coming together over Delany's full-cost scholarship proposal. Those kinds of athlete stipends already have wide-ranging support (including, critically, from the SEC's Mike Slive) and are seen by many as one possible antidote to the improper benefits scandals that have given college football the black eye it's sported the last several months.

If Delany and his "group" champion those scholarships as a way to help clean up the sport, only for the non-AQ schools of Division I (which outnumber the AQ schools more than four-to-one and may vote to protect their men's basketball interests) to veto it in the name of competitive balance, then what? It seems as if this would be the exact excuse Delany would be looking for to "look at how else" college athletics might be managed.

Of course, these kinds of discussions are still off in the relatively distant future, and a NCAA split remains the nuclear option even Delany and Slive will likely take great pains to avoid deploying. But that Delany is already using that threat as a kind of posturing -- potentially to suggest to the rest of the NCAA membership that it should fall in line -- suggests that whatever deliberations and debates will surround full-cost scholarships and other sweeping reform measures, don't expect them to progress smoothly.

Posted on: June 3, 2011 10:40 am

Big 12 commish questions DOJ's interest in BCS

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Bowl Championship Series has been criticized since it's inception by fans of a football playoff. But a combination of the constant tweaking in recent years along with a good ole dose of scandal have turned the BCS into public enemy number one for many college football fans. While some have fantasized about President Barack Obama delivering a playoff, there are more realistic legal ways the federal government can get involved. That process began when BCS executive director Bill Hancock agreed to a "voluntary briefing" on the BCS with the Department of Justice later this year. Outside of Hancock, some of the biggest players in the BCS are the commissioners of the six conferences holding automatic bids to the bowls. The BCS bowl games create huge injections of cash for the conferences, which are divided amongst all of the teams. So it comes as no surprise that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe would seem a little perturbed at the DOJ's threatening stance towards the BCS.

"It's good to know that they've chased down all of the people who have caused our banking system to have problems," Beebe said from the Big 12 meetings in Kansas City. "We've strongly believe and the BCS position has been stated that the government has better things to do than insert itself into how college postseason football should be operated."

The process was kickstarted earlier this year Christine A. Varney, who runs the antitrust division for the DOJ, wrote a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert with concerns regarding the organization and any plans for a playoff. Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff has threatened to file an antitrust lawsuit against the BCS, and some believe that violation of antitrust laws is the idea way to change college football's postseason. Hancock, on the other hand, seems very confident in the organizations ability to withstand these threats.

"We view it as an opportunity to make it clear that the BCS was crafted very carefully with antitrust laws in mind," Hancock said.

If there is anything that will ruffle feathers in this country, it is messing with someone else's money. The ones who benefit the most from the BCS will continue to openly criticize and question any attack on the organization. But while this is a hot topic for now, like most things with the NCAA this will be a long process with no swift action. So get comfy folks, because this debate is not going to be settled anytime soon.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 7:27 pm

Big 12 didn't need that championship game anyway

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

You can't expect the Big 12 to look at last summer's defections of Colorado and Nebraska and say "Well, it was fun being a major conference while it lasted." There are, no doubt, some advantages to a 10-team league over 12. But the cheeriness at this year's Big 10, err, Big 12 spring meetings is very cheery indeed for a conference that waved good-bye to one of the sport's traditional powers and its lucrative conference championship game.

As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
"We didn't plan it, exactly, but what we've ended up with is probably better than we would have planned," Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds said Wednesday during the Big 12 meetings ...

"Now I can say this: I was always a little bit jealous of the Pac-10," said [commissioner Dan] Beebe, referring to its previous ability to schedule round robins in football and double round-robins in basketball.
To which the former Pac-10 responds: O RLY? Because at the same time Beebe was supposedly jealous of those things, Larry Scott was willingly giving them up in order to steal Colorado, become the Pac-12, and eventually land the richest television contract in college athletics history. Somehow, we don't think it follows Scott is suddenly going to become the one jealous of Beebe.

A big factor in the Pac-12's new television windfall is, of course, its new conference championship game. But Dodds insists having to deal with all that money and attention was kind of a drag anyway:
Big 12 schools for the first time will ... drop the title game that three times cost its loser a chance to play for the national championship.

"I think it hurt more than it helped; I like where we are not having the game," Dodds said.

Of course, it's awfully easy for Dodds to say; his Longhorn program is swimming in cash regardless of whether there's a Big 12 title game or not. We're forced to wonder whether his counterparts at Baylor or Iowa State would say the same, not only for the financial issues but because "we might lose our shot at a national title game" isn't exactly a major concern for them at the moment.

Then again: this would hardly be the first time Dodds and the Longhorns have taken it upon themselves to declare that's what best for Texas is what's best for the entire conference, would it?

Posted on: May 23, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 5:41 pm

Big 12 to remain the Big 12

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Although the Big 12 is no longer a conference with 12 teams, there is no plan to change the name of the conference at anytime in the future. Speaking with Big12sports.com's Wendell Barnhouse -- which is the most Big 12 name ever -- commissioner Dan Beebe said that there will be no change to the conference's name.

“Most people believe that the Big 12 is the name on the banner under which we have competed, under which we’ve won national championships,” Beebe said. “I think the name we have is the name we’re going to continue with.”

Which does not come as a surprise because had the Big 12 been planning on changing its name, it likely would have done so already. Plus, as we all know, the number in the name of a conference really doesn't have any relevance. It's the brand that counts, which is why the Big Ten has always been known as the Big Ten even after Penn State became it's eleventh member in 1990, and will continue to be known as the Big Ten now that Nebraska is it's twelfth member.

Sure, the Pac-10 is changing to the Pac-12, but we all know how image conscious the west coast is.

Now, I suppose that if they really wanted to, the Big Ten and Big 12 could just trade names with each other, but why would the Big Ten do that? Isn't already clear that anytime the Big Ten wants something from the Big 12 it's just going to take it? 

Posted on: April 13, 2011 2:11 pm

FoxSports to pay $90M per year for Big 12 rights

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

You might think that with the Big 12 having lost a major media draw in Nebraska, lost its football championship game as part of its shrinkage to 10 teams, and possibly seeing some broadcasts of its biggest attraction siphoned off to Texas's (competitor-owned) Longhorn Network, now wouldn't be the time for the league to be striking it rich on the television contract front.

You would think wrong. Per the Sports Business Daily, the league is ready to announce an annual increase in its cable broadcast rights fees of approximately $70 million to $90 million, a 350 percent raise over the current $20 million. The new buyer? Same as the old buyer, Fox Sports.

But Fox is getting something for its money, at least:
The deal would have FSN double the number of football games it is allowed to carry, from 20 to more than 40. Fox also is keeping all digital and mobile rights to those games, and it would retain cable exclusivity for all Big 12 contests. That means that ESPN will be able to show Big 12 games only if it buys them in syndication from Fox. It also gives Fox flexibility to carry games on its other cable channels.
It doesn't appear that the league's occasional ABC appearances will be affected. But given ESPN's now closer ties to the SEC and other leagues, it's not out of the question for new college football outlet FX to air more Big 12 games than ESPN.

That might not do as much for the league's exposure, but that may not be nearly as much a concern considering what Fox's offer will do for the league's bottom line. (And, of course, it's only speculation and the furthest thing from a certainty; until the contract is made public and the details on its week-to-week logistics made plain, how the league will continue to work with ESPN will remain a mystery.)

Commissioner Dan Beebe was roundly criticized during last year's realignment for claiming he'd be able to net the wounded conference the kind of TV money that would keep the league's heavy hitters safely in the fold, and -- more to the point -- the league solvent. Thanks to Fox's ever-increasing desire to become a major player in the world of college football, though, it appears it's Beebe having the last laugh.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com