The Big 12 Conference has competed video interviews with representatives of the 20 schools interested in being expansion candidates and the next step will be narrowing the list. Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News reported on the expansion update in Friday’s Dallas Morning News.
Industry sources provided the information as the Big 12 has effectively shut down any information leaks. As part of the interview process, interested schools have provided signed non-disclosure agreements. There is a vetting process between Big 12 lawyers and the legal representatives of the schools.
Earlier this month commissioner Bob Bowlsby indicated that he hoped to have the process completed before the season starts. He was likely referring to the video interviewing process as it is now unlikely that there will be invitations or public statements in the next two weeks.
The probable timeline for any substantial news would be mid-October when the Big 12’s board of directors have a regularly scheduled meeting.
Carlton’s sources say that it’s most likely that the Big 12 will decide to add two schools instead of four and it’s becoming more unlikely that the conference will maintain the status quo at 10 schools.
The three strongest candidates out of the 20 wannabes are BYU, Houston and Cincinnati. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been making calls to Big 12 schools to pitch BYU. On Thursday, Houston announced plans to spend $60 million to renovate its basketball facility, Hofheinz Pavilion. Tilman Feritta, chair of the UH board of regents, donated $20 million.
“We’re doing everything we can do,” Fertitta said. “They (the Big 12) have a timeline, and we think within the next 60-90 days it will all be over, and hopefully the University of Houston will be in the Big 12.”