(WTNH)–The Big 12 Conference has decided against expansion and will remain at 10 members “for the time being”, according to ESPN’s Jake Trotter.
Filed to ESPN. No expansion. No candidate could generate supermajority.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 17, 2016
Trotter tweeted Monday that Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has begun reaching out to the 11 candidates to inform them of the decision.
The Big 12 is scheduled to hold a press conference at 5:30 p.m. to discuss its decision following meetings on Monday.
UConn was among the 11 schools reported to be in the running for Big 12 expansion. Fellow American Athletic Conference schools Houston, Cincinnati, South Florida and Central Florida were also reportedly being considered.
It is unclear what the next step for the Huskies will be, though the Big 12’s decision isn’t the worst news the school could have received Monday. Losing Cincinnati, Houston or one of the Florida schools would have further weakened the AAC and made future television deals potentially less lucrative.
The Big 12 had been considering expansion since July, and began gathering information about potential candidates through research firms and presentations by the candidates themselves.
Presidents and chancellors from the conference’s 10 members took a final vote on expansion Monday, but did not receive the eight votes necessary to proceed.
Big 12 television partners ESPN and Fox reportedly resisted expansion, partly thanks to a $25 million reimbursement fee that would have been required to add new member schools.
American Athletic Conference schools are also required to give 27-month notice and pay a $10 million exit fee.
“This decision does not change the fact that UConn is a Top 20 public university and we have an unbelievably successful athletic program with a rich history and tradition,” UConn athletic director David Benedict told the Hartford Courant.
UConn president Susan Herbst told the Courant that she was not surprised by the decision.