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VOL. 9 | NO. 36 | Saturday, September 3, 2016

ESPN: Memphis Out of Big 12 Expansion Consideration

By Don Wade

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The University of Memphis is not one of 11 schools still under consideration for Big 12 expansion, according to a report from espn.com on Friday, Sept. 2.

The ESPN story listed Air Force, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, Colorado State, Houston, Rice, South Florida, SMU and Tulane as the 11 still in the running.

Just days ago, another media report had mentioned Memphis among eight or nine schools that had made it to the next level of consideration. Then ESPN followed with a report saying it could not confirm Memphis was among about a dozen schools still considered to be candidates.

University of Memphis president David Rudd and athletic director Tom Bowen have continued their no comment stance on the Big 12 expansion issue for some time; all of the schools under consideration reportedly have a non-disclosure agreement with the league that prohibits discussing expansion.

The U of M’s bid to join the Big 12 had the backing of FedEx and chairman Fred Smith had pledged the company would be prepared to sponsor a Big 12 championship football game. The ESPN story said FedEx had been contacted on Friday for comment and received an email in response from Smith that read: “All matters concerning the Big 12 are handled by the University of Memphis, so you should contact them directly.”

The ESPN story also said that if Memphis indeed offered to accept less in revenue in its early years as a way to sweeten its bid to become a member of the Big 12, that move might have actually hurt the university’s chances. ESPN said a source indicated the league was seeking new members to add strength and value to the Big 12, and not schools that would have to be “propped up” by the league.

The Big 12 will hold a regularly scheduled board of directors meeting on Oct. 17 and the league has indicated that it hopes to have a decision on expansion by that time. In the last several months, the league has appeared to waffle on whether it would expand from its current 10 members at all, by adding two members, or by adding four members.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 19 170
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 20 118 736
BUSINESS LICENSES 27 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0