Big XII conference chooses not to expand

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DALLAS – The Big XII conference chose to stay status quo on Monday. The conference began looking to expand the conference three months ago.

The conference interviewed 11 schools: University of Houston, Rice, USF, UCF, Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, UConn, Cinicinnati, Tulane and SMU for expansion.

The decision came after a six-hour meeting with university presidents and Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who called the schools that had hoped to be added to inform them of the decision.

Here was the reaction from the University of Houston on being informed the Big XII would not be expanding and will remain at 10 teams.

Statement by Renu Khator, UH President and UH System Chancellor:

“The Big 12’s decision in no way changes the mission of the University of Houston that began long before there was talk of conference expansion.  UH is a diverse, Tier One research institution that is on the move.  We remain committed to strengthening our nationally competitive programs in academics and athletics that allow our student athletes to compete on the national stage.  We are confident that in this competitive collegiate athletics landscape an established program with a history of winning championships and a demonstrated commitment to talent and facilities in the nation’s fourth largest city will find its rightful place.  Our destiny belongs to us.”

Statement by Hunter Yurachek, Vice President of Athletics:

“Today’s news is not just about the University of Houston and the Big 12 Conference, it’s about the evolving landscape of collegiate athletics. It does not, and will not, deter our mission of building champions for life. Our goals, which were in place long before expansion conversation began, will not change. As a progressive Tier One institution that places a competitive emphasis on both academics and athletics, the University of Houston will continue to operate in the national spotlight in one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences and dynamic cities.”

Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard has released the following statement after the announcement by the Big XII Conference that it will remain at 10 members at this time.

“The Big 12 decision today will likely stabilize the FBS conference landscape in the short term. At Rice, we need to continue to promote our brand and schedule well to deliver the best environment possible for our students and fans.”