The Big 12 is trying to put its legal foot down.
The Big 12 sent a cease-and-desist letter to ESPN on Wednesday.
The letter demands the TV network end “all actions that may harm the conference and its members and that it not communicate with the Big 12 Conference’s existing members or any NCAA conference regarding the Big 12 conference’s members, possible conference realignment or potential financial incentive or outcomes related to possible conference realignment.”
or any NCAA conference regarding the Big 12 conference's members, possible conference realignment or potential financial incentive or outcomes related to possible conference realignment." More soon on @YahooSports https://t.co/HHRW1ZXTPm
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 28, 2021
The Big 12 is on life support with the impending move of its top two schools — Texas and Oklahoma — to the SEC. It's about to lose the two schools that generate the most attention, prestige and money for the conference. It will be down to eight schools and have to think about adding weaker schools or breaking up. So of course It's going to try to step in with legal actions to keep the conference together.
The reality is there is too much money to be gained by ESPN, the SEC, Oklahoma and Texas from this move. ESPN and the SEC may be tampering. Nobody will probably be able to stand in the way if Texas and Oklahoma are set on leaving. Like many things in life, a large payment will likely be able to resolve things.
Keep in mind that ESPN has an existing relationship with the Big 12. ESPN and Fox share a TV rights package for the Big 12 that runs through 2025.