Gonzaga’s candidacy, Pac-12’s future, Texas and Oklahoma exit plans on deck with Massive 12 brass set to satisfy

When Massive 12 presidents and athletic administrators start assembly Thursday on the Dallas-Fort Value Worldwide Airport Grand Hyatt, would possibly as nicely convey your popcorn.

On the agenda is Gonzaga’s potential membership in basketball. That alone has realignment implications past the Massive 12. There will even be some dialogue in regards to the attainable early exit of Texas and Oklahoma for the SEC.

Going into its first season with new members BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, the Massive 12 will talk about maybe its solely athletic yr with 14 groups. That is a Texas-Oklahoma challenge, too.

Enlargement remains to be in play, particularly so long as the Pac-12 does not signal a brand new media rights deal.

Gonzaga’s candidacy

Basketball usually brings about 20% of the worth of any media rights deal. That is why soccer is a lot extra necessary. It is also why no Energy 5 convention has a basketball-only member.

However that is Gonzaga, a nationwide energy, and that is commissioner Brett Yormark, who’s trying to make a mark in his new function and has been pursuing the college as a basketball-only addition. (The Bulldogs don’t play soccer.)

After spending 43 years within the mid-major West Coast Convention, there are indications Gonzaga desires to play up a stage of competitors — and receives a commission for it. Quite a few reviews have the West Coast energy not less than contemplating its choices with the Massive 12, Pac-12 and Massive East all potential touchdown spots.

“I might assume if [the Big 12] needed Gonzaga, they’d have Gonzaga,” an individual accustomed to media rights offers instructed CBS Sports activities.

Perhaps. On the college’s finish, the choice is alleged to be largely as much as coach Mark Few, who has guided the Zags since 1999. This system is at present in the course of rights take care of ESPN and CBS that expires in 2026-27.  

On the Massive 12 finish, Yormark has tried to promote his ADs on the idea of a basketball-only member. They’ve beforehand seen a presentation relating to Gonzaga’s membership, nevertheless it did not embody any monetary particulars. Do not be shocked if the ADs have sought to cost Gonzaga’s inclusion with league media advisor Endeavor.

“I feel that is most likely the lesson that I get taught again and again is, we underappreciate the facility of our model nationally,” Gonzaga AD Chris Standiford instructed the AP in December. 

Gonzaga has negotiated getting a weighted share of NCAA Match income from the WCC since it’s far and away the league’s most constant postseason performer. From 1999 to 2019, Gonzaga produced greater than 70% of the WCC’s 75 “items” — income that comes from the NCAA for every event victory.

Within the Energy 5, most (if not all) event income is distributed evenly amongst colleges by conferences.

The attraction between the 2 events is clear. The Massive 12 already is the perfect basketball league. With Gonzaga, it will get even stronger. Membership would insulate the Zags in case the event subject grows and the likes of the WCC lose computerized qualifier standing. That was speculated when the NCAA Transformation Committee launched its suggestions final month.

In return for bringing its model, Gonzaga would get safety and entry to NCAA Match income that surpassed $32 million in 2020. The WCC and Gonzaga have remained tight-lipped about what the league and program are at present making in media rights income.

“Any cash they get [from the Big 12] must be greater than they’re making,” one trade insider stated.

As for the monetary affect, Gonzaga would not get anyplace close to a full share of Massive 12 income that now averages $31.66 million yearly. Some see faculty basketball rising in worth down the street due to streaming. Extra curiosity from streaming means more cash.

The present dilution comes from an oversaturation. With 363 Division I groups, there are too many televised video games that do not imply something.

The largest hang-up could also be what to do with Gonzaga’s minor sports activities. It is unlikely the WCC would permit them to stay within the convention with basketball not included. Becoming a member of the Massive 12, if even a chance, would create vital journey bills with groups stationed all over the place from Florida to West Virginia to the West Texas.

In 2019, when Gonzaga renegotiated its deal, it used suitor Mountain West as leverage. Now the events are larger, higher and richer.

What in regards to the Pac-12?

Geographically, the Pac-12 makes essentially the most sense for Gonzaga. However the league remaining unsettled in a number of key areas could drive Gonzaga, and a few of the Pac-12’s personal colleges, to the Massive 12.

Pac-12 presidents and ADs concluded a commonly scheduled Monday assembly with no decision in its ongoing media rights negotiations. The Pac-12 wants that to be settled earlier than continuing with anything.

The present media take care of Fox and ESPN expires July 1, 2024. This can be very late within the negotiating course of (17 months out) to nonetheless be this far-off from an settlement given there’s an expiring deal.

“I would not say [it’s] a priority,” stated a Pac-12 AD. “We’re in a course of. … Panic or impatience is not going to make a distinction.”

In the meantime, the Massive 12 — Yormark, particularly — stays excited by these 4 Corners colleges: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah. Whereas Pac-12 applications have declared numerous ranges of loyalty throughout this unsure interval, the longer these negotiations final, the extra questions will enter the minds of members. A number of instances, Yormark has stated publicly he desires a West Coast presence to unfold his convention throughout all 4 time zones.

Past Gonzaga and people Pac-12 colleges, San Diego State stays a Pacific choice for the Massive 12. A brand new Pac-12 deal might come within the first quarter of 2023 involving ESPN and Amazon.

The Texas, Oklahoma scenario

Texas and Oklahoma not too long ago made a suggestion to the Massive 12 and Fox to go away the league one yr early for the SEC, sources instructed CBS Sports activities this week. It was rejected. The character of the supply was not clear.

CBS Sports activities beforehand reported the Massive 12 rightsholder must be made entire for dropping the Longhorns and Sooners early from its programming lineup. That might contain a sequence of nonconference video games involving each colleges being performed in Massive 12 stadiums as soon as Texas and Oklahoma be a part of the SEC. 

Fox and ESPN maintain the linear broadcast rights to the Massive 12 via 2024-25. ESPN owns 63% of the worth from the brand new $2.3 billion deal that begins in 2025. As such, it will get prime picks with the 4 finest soccer video games every season, six of the highest eight, eight of the highest 12 and 12 of the highest 20, in accordance with SportsBusiness Journal. Fox, which owns the remaining 37% of the deal, receives 26 video games per season. It isn’t clear whether or not Fox would get entry to a few of these ESPN picks if a deal was struck.

There was hypothesis that Tuesday’s launch of the 2023 Massive 12 schedule was related to the Texas-Oklahoma challenge. In different phrases, nothing might occur till it was recognized when the applications would depart the league.

Not true. The league confronted a deadline of early February from their rightsholders to get the schedule accomplished. Fox and ESPN wanted to start out scheduling video games themselves.

In the meantime, time is working out for a possible early exit. As CBS Sports activities reported, Texas and Oklahoma wish to go away early, however the issues are quite a few.

The pair first made it recognized in August 2022 they want to go away the Massive 12 for the SEC on the conclusion of the 2023 season. For now, they’re compelled by the present media rights deal to remain via the 2024 marketing campaign earlier than shifting on.