Talks of a potential Big-12 expansion may have hit a roadblock, according to Sports Illustrated.
While it seemed like talks were beginning to heat up around the idea of expansion, fans can reportedly thank ESPN and Fox Sports for the likely outcome of opting not to expand. According to the report, ESPN and Fox have discussed paying the Big 12 not to expand.
That’s because thanks to a pro rate clause in the TV contract, the league would receive nearly $25 million annually for every school it adds.
“If they put more money up and bought out that pro rata clause, we’ll likely keep ourselves at 10,” speculated a high-ranking Big 12 source.
An announcement on the Big 12’s expansion plans is reportedly expected on Monday around 5 p.m. CT after meetings between presidents will take place all day Sunday and Monday.
According to the report, things could change once the presidents get together, but as of now it appears unlikely.
While expansion was considered a good thing for the Big 12 when this process started, it has since turned into a nightmare. 20 teams applied to the Big 12, and the reportedly list of 11 finalists really left the Big 12 looking weak when compared to the other Power 5 conferences.