FILE - In this Monday, July 18, 2016 file photo, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby addresses attendees during Big 12 media day in Dallas. Bowlsby has referred to what the Big 12 is about to step into as it moves toward expansion as a sellers market. (AP Pho
Tony Gutierrez, File
July 21, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is demanding that the University of Houston be included in any expansion of the Big 12 Conference.

In a message posted on social media, Abbott said: ''Big 12 expansion is a non-starter unless it includes University of Houston.'' Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Abbott's fellow Texas Republican and a former Houston radio talk show host, also messaged: ''I join with GregAbbott-TX - any BIG 12 expansion must include UHouston or NO DEAL!''

Documents obtained by The Associated Press through open records requests show Houston is competing with such schools as Connecticut, Cincinnati, UCF, Memphis and Colorado State. The 10-school conference hasn't committed itself to expansion, but Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has been asked to begin evaluating candidate schools.

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