Big 12 accuses ESPN of trying to 'destabilize' conference

Big 12 Championship
Posted at 7:46 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 20:46:50-04

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby tells The Associated Press that ESPN is pushing other conferences pick apart the league so Texas and Oklahoma can move to the Southeastern Conference without paying a massive buyout.

The Big 12 sent a cease-and-desist letter to ESPN on Wednesday, demanding it stop “all actions that may harm the Conference and its members and that it not communicate with the Big 12 Conference's existing Members or any other NCAA Conference regarding the Big 12 Conference's Members, possible conference realignment or potential financial incentives or outcomes related to possible conference realignment."

On Tuesday, the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma sent a request to the Southeastern Conference commissioner to join the conference.

The universities asked the SEC for invitation for membership beginning on July, 1, 2025. That's when the grant of media rights for the two schools with the Big 12 conference ends.

"We believe that there would be mutual benefit to the Universities on the one hand, and the SEC on the other hand, for the Universities to become members of the SEC," the joint request said on Tuesday.