Say this for Big 12 officials and various bigwigs: Even when the chips were down, they never lacked confidence.
Commissioner Dan Beebe, in a June 1 email to the Big 12’s school presidents obtained by SI.com, detailed several reasons why it would be in their best interest to stay put. One reason? Fair-weather fans.
“For those considering possible membership in the Pac-10, I hope that full consideration is given to the student-athlete and fan experience,” Beebe wrote. “I grew up in Pac-10 territory and although there are outstanding institutions in the conference, the facilities and fair-weather fans are a disappointment. I suggest that the fan support for their regular-season games and championships, and the accompanying image that projects, should be carefully examined.”
Beebe, a Walla Walla, Wash. native, is obviously impressed by the legions of travelling Nebraska fans and the seas of Orange and Maroon at Texas and Texas A&M games. Then again, as Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger writes, perhaps there’s simply more to do in Pac-10 cites like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix.
Tough to blame Beebe for using the hard sell, though. He was trying to save his conference (and succeeded!). Besides, it hardly compares to uber-Oklahoma State booster T. Boone Pickens ranting about Nebraska leaving … and sharing some unkind words about Missouri
Hey, when you’re worth $3 billion, you can say what you want, too.
Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops.