A confidential white paper obtained by Andy Staples of the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED via the Freedom of Information Act shows that Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe foresaw - as early as June 1 - that the Big Ten and Pac-10 could attempt to raid his conference.
In a document dated June 1 and sent by the commissioner to top officials at each Big 12 school, Beebe outlined why it was in the best interest of those schools to remain in Beebe’s conference.
The paper reveals that part of Beebe’s plea to Big 12 membership involved disparaging the Big Ten and Pac-10.
On page 3 of the 6-page white paper, Beebe wrote to the Big 12 conference schools of the Big Ten:
In other words, Big Ten fans are dying off and a Big 12 school moving to the Big Ten could hurt that school’s recruiting and support by alumni in the “Sun Belt.”
On the same page, Beebe wrote of the Pac-10:
After noting that he grew up in Pac-10 country, Beebe claimed that the conference’s “facilities and fair weather fans are a disappointment.”
If a Big 12 school was serious in the consideration of joining Pac-10, you would think the university would’ve already done its due diligence. Beebe citing “fair weather fans” and “disappointing facilities” would’ve been meaningless to that process.
Now, I don’t necessarily disagree with Beebe’s overall analysis of the Big Ten and Pac-10, but broad brushing other conferences in that manner - especially by spicing in opinions at the 11th hour - made him sound a little desperate.
That said, Beebe did spend the majority of the white paper underlining the positive future financial prospects of the Big 12, which were apparently realized yesterday.
The more we learn about what happened in the past 72 hours, the more it becomes clear that Beebe, from the very beginning, was merely a pawn serving at the pleasure of the University of Texas in the process.