After a couple of weeks of uncertainty, it’s now official: the Baylor family’s work has paid off, and the Big 12 Conference remains a powerhouse in collegiate athletics.
By Tuesday afternoon, the Big 12 Conference had received public commitments from all 10 member institutions (Colorado and Nebraska accepted offers into other leagues late last week).
There were many factors that went into the schools’ final decision to keep the league together, but we’ve heard from multiple sources that the Baylor Nation’s contributions were an important piece as everything came together. A very loud “sic ‘em!” is due to every member of the Baylor family who got involved on BU’s behalf, from those who contacted their representatives, to those with influence in the worlds of business and politics, to President Ken Starr and Director of Athletics Ian McCaw, who held fast to their belief that the Big 12 could survive and prosper. Their persistence was vindicated in the end, and to all who believed and fought for Baylor, we thank you.
The Dallas Morning News today ran this editorial praising the decisions that were made in the best interests of the state of Texas written by a group of prominent Baylor alumni and supporters: Comstock Resources CEO Jay Allison, BBA ’78, MS ’80, JD ’81; Baylor Health Care System President and CEO Joel Allison, BA ’70; BMC Software Chairman and CEO Bob Beauchamp, Baylor Regent; McLane Group Chairman Drayton McLane, BBA ’58; Perry Homes Chairman of the Board Bob Perry, BS ’53, MSED ’62; XTO Energy Chairman of the Board Bob Simpson, BBA ’70, MS ’71; Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Group Chairman and President Jim Turner, BBA ’69; and former Texas Governor Mark White, BBA ’62, JD ’65.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, President Starr thanked the “devoted faculty, staff, students and alumni of the Baylor family [who] championed the cause of the Big 12 and spoke out on behalf of their beloved university.”
McCaw also noted his pleasure at the decision to keep the Big 12 going in a statement Monday night, thanking the “extraordinary efforts and leadership from the Board of Regents, President Starr, key alumni and friends. We are both humbled and grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support from the Baylor family in recent days.”
It’s often noted that when a group of individuals goes through a trying time together, the individuals come out stronger, smarter and more united afterward. I’m confident that the new Big 12 Conference will see such results, and I look forward to Baylor’s continued success in the league and on the national stage in the years to come.
Sic ‘em, Baylor Nation!
Below are some other stories from across the country that Baylor fans might find interesting:
* Big 12 remaining intact with 10 schools; ‘It’s a great day,’ says McLane (Houston Chronicle)
* Texas politics flexed its muscles (The Oklahoman)
* Influential group from across the nation saved Big 12 (ESPN.com)
* Waco politicians, city and business leaders celebrate big off-the-field win for Baylor (Waco Tribune-Herald)
* U.S. Representative Chet Edwards’ interview with John Morris (audio, 1660 ESPN Radio)
* Q&A on how the Big 12 will function with 10 members (Dallas Morning News)
* Baylor staying in Big 12 a cause for celebration (Waco Tribune-Herald)
Also, reaction from Baylor coaches (past and present):
* Baylor coaches, officials cherish news of Big 12 Conference remaining intact (Waco Tribune-Herald)
* Big 12 revival is cause for celebration in Waco (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
* Art Briles, Ian McCaw, Kim Mulkey reaction (video, KWTX-TV)
* Grant Teaff weighs in on Big 12 survival (video, KWTX-TV)