The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2023.07.28

Added a big one.

I’m a bit short on time this morning. Youssouf has his first out-of-town tournament and we’re traveling to Houston (actually Cypress to be specific) today.

Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, after yesterday’s news became official, which was Colorado joining the Big 12 in 2024, McMurphy is reporting that 1 to 3 additional members will be added to the Big 12 and that the long-term vision is 16 teams.

Arizona is the most likely Pac-12 candidate to join Colorado in the Big 12, sources said. Arizona State, Utah, Oregon and Washington also are possibilities from the Pac-12.

If the Big 12 gets to 14 or 16 members for the 2024 season by adding Pac-12 schools, it would not add any other members.

“The dream scenario for the Big 12 would be to get the ‘Four Corner’ schools,” a source said, referring to Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah.

On Thursday, Colorado announced it was joining the Big 12. On Wednesday, Action Network first reported Colorado was joining the Big 12 and would receive a full media rights deal worth $31.7 million per year per school.

In the Big 12’s new Grant of Rights deal from 2025-31, ESPN’s contract guaranteed pro-rata — the same revenue ($20 million per school annually) — if the Big 12 added additional Power 5 schools. FOX was not contractually obligated to match its revenue ($11.7 million per school annually), but the network has agreed to do so if the Big 12 added other Power 5 schools, sources told Action Network.

The Athletic’s Max Olson ($) goes into the plan to get Colorado, which this really sounds like the Pac-12’s incompetence more than anything else, and it’s not a done-deal to add the 4-corner schools:

In a brief interview with The Athletic on Wednesday, University of Arizona president Robert C. Robbins repeated what he’s said all along: He needs to see a Pac-12 media rights deal. He’d prefer to stay in the Pac-12, that much is clear, but Kliavkoff needs to deliver an acceptable agreement. He’s willing to be patient but acknowledged that the Pac-12’s latest board meeting on Wednesday morning didn’t offer much clarity on a timetable.

“We’ve still got a year left on the contract. It’s not like you’ve got to decide do you jump or go down with the building,” Robbins said. “So I don’t feel pressure or stress or anything about this. I’m just waiting to see what the deal looks like.”

Do leaders like Robbins take Yormark and the Big 12 a little more seriously now that he’s pulled off one addition? That’s one of the many curious questions going forward. Arizona State and Utah have consistently rejected being interested in switching leagues. The Big 12 has had communication with Oregon and Washington in the past year. For them, Colorado departing still might not move the needle enough. And that might not bother Yormark much. He doesn’t want these schools reluctantly backing into the Big 12 solely because of a disappointing TV deal. He wants members who seriously buy what he’s selling.

Olson also writes that Yormark very much believes in UConn as an addition to get a foot-hold into New York. I think the play here is to be patient.

This probably much bigger news, but don’t know how much press it will receive. Because my family and I have the ability to see some of how the basketball circuit is run because we go to something nearly every weekend, but the people that run these weekend basketball tournaments know what’s happening with all of these players. Go check out his Twitter/X and you’ll see that he’s embedded with how you find players. Add in Luke Barnwell who coached a high school team of these types of players and you’ve got your recruiting covered.


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