What new commish Brett Yormark said about Big 12 expansion on Wednesday in Dallas

Photo courtesy of the Big 12.

ARLINGTON, Texas — There is only so much anybody can say on the record in regards to conference realignment. Hardly anything. 

However, as expected, in new commissioner Brett Yormark’s first public appearance in his new role, that was unequivocally the hot topic during the Big 12’s annual media day event at AT&T Stadium. 

“One thing is for sure. There is no doubt the Big 12 is open for business,” Yormark said. “We will leave no stone unturned to drive value for the conference. Just as I pledged to the board, we will be bold and humble, aggressive and thoughtful, and innovative and creative, all in an effort to position the conference in a way that not only grows the Big 12 brand and business but makes us a bit more contemporary.”

There has been reporting and speculating about the Big 12 “raiding” the Pac-12 following recent news that USC and UCLA are heading to the Big Ten. 

“As we vet out the possibilities, everything will be additive, nothing will be dilutive,” Yormark said. 

That means that if the Big 12 is going to expand, the new members need to grow the league’s revenue for the member schools, not take away from it.

“You can’t add people that are going to just take more slices of the pie,” said longtime Big 12 boss Bob Bowlsbly. “So you know, that’s a very calculated, long thought about. And that’s the process he described. That’s what we’ll be doing.”

Nobody knows more about the Big 12 expansion process than Bob Bowlsby, who in the last year added Central Florida, BYU, Houston and Cincinnati to the league. 

“I think it’s fair to say I’ve received a lot of phone calls, a lot of interest,” Yormark said. “People understand the direction of the Big 12, and we’re exploring those levels of interest. Nothing is imminent, but we’re working hard to make sure that we position the Big 12 in the best possible way on a go-forward basis.”

Yormark’s official first day as commissioner is on Aug. 1, however, he has been “actively engaged” in expansion conversations with the Big 12’s stakeholders.