Report: Big 12 in contact with Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah

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Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 1:56 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - There is no all quiet on the conference realignment front, according to a report Friday from CBS Sports.

Sources told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd the Big 12 recently renewed contact with the “four corners” Pac-12 schools -- Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah -- as their conference continues to delay their latest television contract negotiations. The Pac-12 is currently in its ninth month of negotiations for a new television deal and reports have indicated that ESPN is the only remaining linear provider in the bidding.

This fall, the Big 12 will welcome Houston, BYU, UCF and Cincinnati to the conference. On Feb. 9, Oklahoma and Texas agreed to a deal with Big 12 officials to forfeit a combined $100 million in revenue distribution to leave the conference in 2024 to join the SEC.

In August at Pac-12 media days in Los Angeles, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff fired verbal jabs at Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark after reports surfaced of potential interest from the Big 12 toward the four corners schools as well as Washington and Oregon.

“I’ve been spending four weeks trying to defend against grenades that have been lobbied in from every corner of the Big 12 trying to destabilize our remaining conference,” Kliavkoff said in August. “I understand why they’re doing it. When you look at the relative media value between the two conferences, I get it. I get why they’re scared, why they’re trying to destabilize us.”

READ: Report: Big 12 agrees to new media rights deal, signs $2.28 billion agreement with ESPN and Fox

In 2024, USC and UCLA will depart the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten. When the move was announced last July, Kliavkoff made a declarative statement that has come under question now.

“No Pac-12 school is going to the Big 12,” Kliavkoff declared.

Colorado moved to the Pac-12 in the 2011-12 academic year after being a member of the Big 7, Big 8 and Big 12 from 1947 until 2011. Utah joined the Pac-12 the same year as Colorado after being a member of the Mountain West conference, while Arizona and Arizona State have been a part of the Pac-10 and Pac-12 since 1978. Prior to that, the two schools were attached at the hip, as members of the WAC from 1962 until 1978.

Yormark, who previously spent 14 years with the Brooklyn Nets organization and has a business background that is familiar with major basketball operations, has been reported to be eyeing a super basketball league for the Big 12. With Houston joining the league next season, the conference will already add the current No. 1 team in the country. Earlier this year, a report surfaced indicating that the Big 12 would look into the possibility of adding Gonzaga as a basketball-only member.

If the Big 12 were to add Arizona, they’d be adding the winningest program in the Pac-12 over the course of the last 25 years and the last program to win a national title for the conference, when the Wildcats did so in 1997.