Big 12 Reportedly Holding Expansion Negotiations Again With Gonzaga
Oct 9, 2023, 11:37 AM
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY – Just when you thought Big 12 expansion talks were in the rearview mirror, they are back again.
First reported by Seth Davis of The Messenger and later confirmed by multiple national outlets, the Big 12 Conference is having talks again with the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Big 12 expansion zeroes in on Gonzaga
Davis reports that Gonzaga is being looked at as an all-sports member in the Big 12 except for football.
There’s a possibility that Gonzaga could join the Big 12 beginning in the 2024-25 season.
This sudden news of Gonzaga potentially being in talks with the Big 12 is somewhat surprising. In August, the Big 12 Conference landed the “four corner” Pac-12 schools (Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah) to bring membership to 16 teams beginning in 2024.
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Shortly after the four Pac-12 programs, Brett Yormark told the Marchand & Ourand Podcast that talks with Gonzaga and East Coast basketball power UConn, which dated back to the fall of 2022, were done.
Not so fast.
Despite landing the four corner schools, which Yormark referred to as a “dream scenario,” basketball has always been an area where he wants to continue growing the nation’s toughest league.
Big 12 basketball is a focus for Brett Yormark
Yormark has made it well known that he wants to invest in basketball and find new revenue streams for what is viewed as the toughest league on the hardwood. The former Brooklyn Nets executive has even said that he had talks with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver when he took the Big 12 Commissioner job, that he needed to invest in basketball.
Adding basketball powerhouse Gonzaga would show that the Big 12 is determined to be the nation’s top hoops league now and into the future.
It would also give the Big 12 another program in the fourth time zone.
Gonzaga is currently a member of BYU’s former league home, the West Coast Conference. Since 1999, the Zags have dominated the league that is comprised of small, faith-based universities.
The Zags have played in the NCAA Tournament every year since 1999. They’ve finished as the National Runner-up twice in 2017 and 2021. In 2021, they lost to the Big 12’s Baylor Bears.
Next week, Brett Yormark will be in Kansas City, addressing the media at Big 12 Basketball Media Days. Once again, Big 12 expansion will be a hot topic when Yormark takes the stage at the T-Mobile Center.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.
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