Jul 18, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby speaks to the media during the Big 12 Media Days at Omni Dallas Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
KANSAS CITY — Big 12 men’s basketball media day occurred on Wednesday at the Sprint Center where league commissioner Bob Bowlsby took questions from the media. Below are some of the highlights.
*** Bowlsby announced the Big 12 and Big East have agreed to a 4-year scheduling series set to begin in 2019-2020.
“We’re also announcing today that we have created a scheduling alliance with the Big East and that will start in the 2019-2020 season,” Bowlsby said. “We will coordinate on sites around the SEC Challenge and this is going to be earlier in the year. It’s likely to be late November, early December, all ten teams from each league will participate and we will have five home sites and five road sites.”
Bowlsby said four home-and-home matchups for the series have already been locked in starting this season — Kansas State at Marquette on Dec. 1, Villanova at Kansas on Dec. 15, Creighton at Oklahoma on Dec. 18 and Providence at Texas on Dec. 21. The returns for each of those games will take place next season in the inaugural year of the event.
*** The commissioner also announced the league has extended its agreement with Kansas City through 2024 to keep the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center. The old contract was set to expire following the 2020 event.
Also, beginning next season, the Big 12 women’s basketball tournament will return to Kansas City and Memorial Coliseum.
“We are currently scheduled to be here through 2020 and we will be extending that agreement through ’24,” Bowlsby said. “As you know, we also, beginning next year, in 19-20 season we will be playing our women’s tournament here in Kansas City. It has been here before, obviously, and there have been 17 men’s championships here. This year’s will be the 18th, 11 of them at the Sprint Center, of course, we were at Kemper Arena before that and the women’s tournament will be in Memorial Coliseum.”
*** On the side, Bowlsby was asked about the decision to fine Iowa State $25,000 for the field rush following the Cyclones’ upset win over West Virginia.
“Two things that were fundamentally of concern to us, one is that fans dumped into the team playing area, the protected team area and the only path to the locker room was through the mass of people that were coming onto the field,” Bowlsby said. “Those two things were our fundamental weaknesses in the plan.”
Obviously, that brings up the question of what made this field rush different than the one following the Cyclones’ win over TCU last season. Bowlsby response?
“Each one of these is a standalone deal.”
*** Lastly, Bowlsby answered a number of questions regarding Kansas’ link to the college basketball corruption trial wrapping up this week in the Southern District Court of New York. The most notable thing to me was his comments on whether or not an even playing field exists in Big 12 men’s basketball.
“Well, our competitive results would suggest that there is,” Bowlsby said. “We’ve had everybody play in the NCAA Tournament in recent years. We’ve had seven of our teams in the Sweet 16 in the last three years. So, I would say there is a pretty level competitive field, yeah.”
The league has had the same champion for 14 years and he has not once heard from another school’s president or chancellor regarding the lack of a level playing field in the league? Apparently not.
“I haven’t discussed it with my chancellors and ADs,” Bowlsby said. “Everybody is aware that it’s going on but until we get to the process of being able to have it under the jurisdiction of the conference or under the jurisdiction of the NCAA, there isn’t anything to do. It’s a linear process and we’re not there yet.”