The University of Texas announced Monday evening that it will remain in the conference, likely meaning the exodus from the league will be limited to Colorado's move to the Pac-10 and Nebraska's switch to the Big Ten. The Longhorns turned down an invitation from the Pac-10, and they may have staved off a major restructuring in college athletics. Texas officials, including president Bill Powers, men's athletic director DeLoss Dodds and women's athletic director Chris Plonsky will hold a press conference at 11 a.m., ET on Tuesday to discuss the decision. The press conference will be streamed live at TexasSports.com.
In recent days, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe had tried to convince his member schools that in the next few years, the league could close the television revenue gap that divides it from the richer SEC and Big Ten. The plan appears to have worked.
The decision also means Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri will remain in a Bowl Championship Series automatic qualifying conference. When the Big 12 appeared ready to implode, those schools appeared on the verge of being left without a conference to call home.
The University of Texas board of regents canceled a Tuesday meeting to discuss conference alignment. Texas Tech had a board of regents meetings scheduled for Tuesday, while Oklahoma and Oklahoma State had regents meetings scheduled for Wednesday. The higher education committee of the Texas House of Representatives also has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday to discuss college athletics. Committee chair Dan Branch (R-Dallas) said that despite Monday's news, the hearing will go on as planned.
"We will still have a hearing," Branch said. "This sounds like a promising result. We're grateful for all the good work done by our schools today. We look forward to having a dialogue Wednesday, but this looks like a very promising development for the state of Texas."