Q&A: Pollard talks Big 12 expansion on first stop of Tailgate Tour

CARROLL, Iowa — The following is a transcript of Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard discussing Big 12 extension during the Cyclone Tailgate Tour stop in Carroll on Monday afternoon.

Q: Coming out of the meetings in Phoenix, what’s, I guess, your interpretation of where the league sits in terms of realignment, expansion, you know, those topics?

Pollard:Continuing just to explore. You know, we all want what’s best for the Big 12 in the long run. It’s a very complicated process because there’s a lot of antennas, or tentacles I should say, to try and solve what’s best for the long-term and we’ll continue to explore the data. Discuss it, and ultimately, decisions will be made about the short-term and the long-term.

Q: What’s Iowa State’s position? I mean, are you pro-expansion?

Pollard:Well, we’re pro-discussion. You have to look at all the facts so when you look at one of the facts that can lead you to think one thing but then when you add in other facts you can sway the way you think. So we’re very open to listening and trying to help guide the conference to what we think is the best long-term solution.

Q: Where do you stand on, or what’s the prospects, or possibility of a Big 12 TV network? Is that a big factor in these discussions?

Pollard:It’s one of the factors. You know, because it is a revenue piece, if there’s revenue with it but that revenue, you know, in order to have a network you have to have a lot of inventory. In order to have a lot of inventory then you’d have to presumably expand. Then you have to come back to the, you know, it’s a full circle. Then you come back and say, ‘Well, is expansion in the best long-term interest of the conference?’ So, it’s more complex than picking two or four or whatever number of schools.

Q: Where do you stand on a conference network given the Pac-12 Network hasn’t performed like I think they expected and the ACC’s hasn’t gotten off the ground? Do you think that a conference network in this climate could work?

Pollard:There’s two parts to that question. Number one, financially for the last several years a network has been very lucrative to the SEC and to the Big Ten, which is one set of facts. On the other side of it, the current model’s been very advantageous to all the 10 members of the Big 12, including Iowa State, because we really like what we’ve been able to brand with, and I would say that’s contributed to our rise in attendance, donations and revenues because we’ve been able to do what we need to do, which is get exposure in the state of Iowa for those factors. But, you have to weigh those factors against what’s the long-term financial interest for the 10 members in the league and, again, that’s where it gets back to, if it was a black and white, easy decision, it would’ve already been made, but it’s not. It’s really complicated and any one of those tentacles you go down you can get to another fork in the road.

Jared Stansbury


Jared is in his seventh year covering Iowa State football and basketball for Cyclone Fanatic. He worked as the site's intern for three years while studying Journalism in Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism. He started as a full-time staff writer in May 2016. He took over as the site's managing editor in January 2020. Jared spent five falls covering Iowa high school football as a reporter for KMA Radio, 1460 KXNO and 1430 KASI.