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The Big 12 can't get out of its own way

Oklahoma President David Boren, left, and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby laugh during a news conference after The Big 12 Conference meeting in Grapevine, Texas, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. The Big 12 Conference has decided against expansion from its current 10 schools after three months of analyzing, vetting and interviewing possible new members.(AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Big 12 Conference can't seem to get out of its own way. Just one day after voting to stay at 10 teams and not expand, multiple bits of news hit the wires. First among them, Texas Governer Gregg Abbott going on record to say the conference should apologize for not expanding after spending the past few months talking to 11 schools.

Abbott, who has been vocal is his support of Houston being added to the Big 12, went after the conference via Twitter:

Abbott graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.

Following Abbott's social media outburst, this bit of news leaked via ESPN's Brett McMurphy:

In McMurphy's article, he claims sources told ESPN that in the 714-word memo covering the league's talking points, obtained by ESPN, the first two items instructed officials to "Indicate the Board arrived at a Unanimous Consensus" and say "the Board was unanimous in its desire and commitment to stay at 10 members."

Let that sink in for a minute - OU President David Boren and Commissioner Bob Bowlsby sat in front of a room of people, and hundreds watching online, touting that the decision to remain at 10 teams was a unanimous decision, with Boren going as far to say he's never seen such commitment to the Conference. As it turns out, it was all a ruse.

Also included in the memo, according to those same sources, were the following points to say - and not to say:

Do:

• Refer to the conference as equal to our peer group.
• Revenue alone does not win championships.
• We are not going to publicly discuss consideration details.
• We were exhaustive in our research.
• We have the most competitive competition model in college sports.
• Refer to 2024-25 as an opportunity to explore the media landscape and how to use new technologies to deliver content to our fans.
• The sunset of our Grant of Rights agreements allows the Conference to be in an active marketplace.
• Expansion is no longer an active agenda item.

Don't:

• Say we are at a competitive disadvantage.
• Say revenue determines strength.
• Say expansion is dilutive.
• Say candidates were not deemed Power 5 worthy.
• Refer to any specific expansion candidate/school by name.
• Indicate that TV influenced decision.
• [Say] we are psychologically disadvantaged.
• Discuss 2024-25 as a grant of rights issues.

You can see the complete article from McMurphy here.

Come on, Big 12. Get your act together.

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