Memphis, Houston, Central Florida lobbying to join Big 12

Wednesday May 11th, 2016

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Officials from Memphis, Houston, Central Florida and Colorado State have been lobbying to join the Big 12 as conference officials consider expansion, ESPN’s Jake Trotter reports.

According to documents obtained by ESPN, Houston president Renu Khator met with West Virginia president Gordon Gee, who is on the expansion composition committee, in November. Gee met with university and athletic department officials as well as football coach Tom Herman.

In February, Memphis president David Rudd sent a letter expressing his desire for the school to join the conference to Gee and fellow committee members Oklahoma president David Boren and Baylor president Ken Starr. Rudd pledged a five-year, $500 million investment in Memphis’ academics and athletics, and also noted that FedEx—whose headquarters are in Memphis—is supporting the school’s quest to join the Big 12.

STAPLES: Big 12 examining expansion but missing the point

Colorado State and Central Florida presidents also sent letters to Gee, who assured both schools they would be considered by the committee.

Big 12 officials are expected to decide in June whether the conference will expand, and will discuss the decision at a May 31 meeting.

Other schools rumored to be considered for expansion are BYU, Cincinnati, Connecticut and South Florida, according to SI’s Andy Staples.

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