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Brett Yormark on further Big 12 expansion: 'There's nothing imminent'

NS_headshot_clearbackgroundby:Nick Schultz10/17/23


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Since taking over as Big 12 commissioner, Brett Yormark has been nothing short of aggressive. He got out in front of a new media rights deal and landed his “dream scenario” by bringing in the Four Corners schools in the latest round of expansion.

One of his top priorities, though, is to enhance the conference’s standing in basketball. That’s a reason why Gonzaga has come up in realignment rumors — as recently as last week.

At Big 12 women’s basketball media day on Tuesday, though, Yormark said nothing is happening anytime soon.

“There’s nothing imminent,” Yormark said. “But I do explore all options that come to me. And if it creates value for membership — both short and long-term — I’m gonna pursue it even further. But right now, we love the makeup and composition of this conference. Love the Four Corners that are joining us.

“They’ve already started to integrate the four schools. They’ve been attending meetings. We’re strategizing on what next year looks like. So there’s nothing imminent with respect to expansion.”

Yormark previously confirmed the conversations with Gonzaga and UConn about joining the Big 12. But he said those talks stopped when he landed Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah as the Pac-12 started to fall apart in late July and early August.

Last week, though, The Messenger’s Seth Davis reported conversations started back up between Yormark and Gonzaga. Yormark made a pitch at the Big 12 meetings, and he received permission to resume “top-level” discussions with the Bulldogs.

Why Brett Yormark is trying to ‘create value where I can’ regarding the Big 12’s future

Considering he landed his “dream scenario,” Yormark was asked what his next “dream” would be for the conference. He put things in an interesting perspective and said he’ll continue to look at all options if something will help the league get better.

“Just to continue to create value where I can,” Yormark said. “When I think about our conference, we’re 27 years old. I think, in many respects, we’re a mature startup. We’re in our infancy stages. We have to explore every possibility and opportunity to continue to grow and create value for our members institutions, and that’s what my job is. … We’re really happy about where we are now, as I said in my opening comments.

“We’ve become national. That was a goal of ours, from coast to coast. We’ve doubled down on basketball for all the right reasons through expansion. I’m very bullish on our future.”