Lee Barfknecht of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD reported yesterday, “two Big 12 sources confirmed to The World-Herald that last week Nebraska and Missouri were given a drop-dead date — this Friday afternoon — to commit to the Big 12. Nebraska, with a Board of Regents meeting this weekend, asked for a delay into the week of June 14-18.”
(Lew/KU’s Conference To Sleep With The Fishes?)
Nebraska’s decision on conference affiliation reportedly could trigger six schools bolting from the Big 12 to the Pac-10. Those half-dozen schools reportedly don’t include Kansas.
If you want to take the temperature of Kansans on that matter, Topeka Capital-Journal columnist Kevin Haskin provides a significant sample today:
Calling all politicians.
Pat Roberts, Sam Brownback, Kathleen Sebelius, Mark Parkinson … anyone with any connections whatsoever. Be it a regent, congressman, mayor, board chairman, entertainer or evangelist.
The time is now to get involved on behalf of Kansas and Kansas State.
Find a phone number or address for Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and rehearse a persuasive plea.
PLEEEESE! Do not abandon longtime partners you’ve competed against, and cajoled with, since helmets were made of leather.
While the dynamics of conference realignment are all about football, the shaky future of the Big 12 is more than just an athletics matter for KU and K-State.
If the Wildcats and Jayhawks are no longer competing in the big-time — repeat, rinse, repeat: B-C-S — virtually anything at K-State and KU could be affected. Adversely.
Both would still strive to be exemplary universities, retain great faculty, conduct breakthrough research and graduate sharp, promising professionals.
But enrollment could decline, perhaps significantly. Without as much sports exposure — be it daily on ESPN updates or over the course of a team schedule through television opportunities — the universities lose invaluable branding.
Embattled Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins strikes a similar tone on the subject:
“The most important thing for the University of Kansas and for college athletics is expansion. That’s it.
“If I said I wasn’t worried, I’d be a fool. I am worried every day — not only about Kansas and the Big 12, but for the Pac-10, the Big Ten. … This is serious, serious, serious stuff. I am concerned.”