Sources: Big 12 Seriously Considering Adding Gonzaga as Men’s Basketball Member
William Mancebo/Getty Images. Pictured: A basketball on Gonzaga’s court.
The Big 12 isn’t quite done expanding yet. The Big 12 is seriously considering adding Gonzaga as a men’s basketball member for either the 2024 or 2025 school year, sources told Action Network.
“This would be a major coup for the Big 12,” a source said.
A decision on Gonzaga could come quickly, within the next two weeks, a source said. A key component is that Gonzaga could be willing to accept less revenue at the outset of joining the Big 12 — similar to SMU joining the ACC — before the Bulldogs would eventually receive full basketball revenue shares, a source said.
The Big 12 is not considering adding Oregon State or Washington State, sources said.
Besides men’s basketball, Gonzaga also would join the Big 12 in baseball, women’s soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s tennis, a source said.
The Messenger first reported the Big 12 had resumed talks with Gonzaga.
After the Big 12 announced in August that it would add Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said the league was done expanding.
“Right now, we’re done,” Yormark said in mid-August. “We had a strategy and effectively we’ve been able to execute it. Initially, I wasn’t sure if we’d grow to 14 or 16 (schools). I think 16 was kind of a dream scenario.”
Yormark also said in August conversations with Gonzaga and UConn were done.
“Unfortunately things didn’t work out because the dream scenario (of getting to 16 schools) unfolded for us,” Yormark told The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast.
However, because of the changing economics of future alignment — such as Cal, Stanford and SMU going to the ACC — where incoming schools would initially accept smaller revenue shares, the Big 12 decided it would revisit adding Gonzaga if the school was receptive, a source said.
Yormark has stated publicly multiple times he believes men’s basketball media revenue is undervalued and once the Big 12’s media rights deal expires in 2031, he envisions negotiating separate deals for football and men’s basketball.
The addition of Gonzaga in men’s basketball would give the Big 12 17 basketball members and strengthen what already is considered the nation’s top basketball conference. Kansas, Baylor, Houston and future member Arizona all ranked in the top 11 of last year’s final AP Top 25 rankings.
All five schools are listed in The Almanac’s preseason top 25 rankings.
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