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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Big 12 Taps Brakes on Further Expansion For Now

  • The Big 12 has been exploring adding Gonzaga in another round of expansion.
  • In 2024, the conference will grow to 16 full-time members.
Kylie Graham-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 continues to send mixed messages when it comes to its flirtation with further expansion.

Amid new speculation that the conference is exploring adding Gonzaga and potentially another basketball powerhouse school, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark isn’t ready to publicly commit to getting bigger.

“There’s nothing imminent with respect to expansion,” Yormark said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the Big 12 was reported to have revived its interest in adding Gonzaga after initially being done expanding in the wake of adding Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah — all of which will join the conference in 2024. There was some reported pushback to the revival of the Gonzaga idea, but a source told Front Office Sports that Yormark had “overwhelming support” from conference leadership to explore the idea.

Now, while Yormark says he will “explore all options” and reiterated his stance that he will pursue anything that creates value for the conference, he won’t give definitive details on whether further expansion is coming or not.

The future of Gonzaga — currently a member of the West Coast Conference — will be a key factor in the next stages of conference realignment. The fate of the remaining Pac-12 members, Oregon State and Washington State, will be affected by their pending lawsuit.

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