By John P. Lopez
As I wrote in TexAgs today:
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe is drenched, dripping wet, already in well over his head. And yet he continues to tell us that skies are blue and the sun will rise tomorrow on brighter, better Big 12 days.
He is fooling no one, except himself. He does this because it’s his only play. Such are the bizarre, desperate ways of a desperate man and Beebe is exactly that.
A year ago, when Beebe was taking bows for seemingly saving the Big 12, telling people, “my characteristics were needed,” there was the tiniest of flaws in his grand plan. Overwhelmed by the prospect of the Big 12 – and his job — being swept away under a flood of conference realignment, Beebe compromised reality.
He made $18 million promises he could not guarantee to Big 12 member schools, while giving the Texas Longhorns the opening to leverage a fantastic deal with ESPN.
The fact is, Beebe didn’t save 10 teams, he saved one. Don’t blame the Longhorns for doing what any other school would have done. But the fact remains establishing a class system drove a wedge between Texas and the other two marquee programs in the conference – Oklahoma and Texas A&M. As for the other seven member schools, they were left to sit there and take it because their other options were much less profitable.
It became only a matter of time before the dam came crashing down and, well, it is. Beebe is in too deep.
Yet he continues to stand there and tell all who listen that all will be well. When asked by ESPN about recent athletic director concerns over the Longhorn Network, Beebe said that UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds, “did not want to do anything that was going to create a recruiting advantage or do anything that was going to harm the conference.”
Of course he didn’t. Nobody likes recruiting advantages, least of all mega-programs who have a $295 million investment from the World Wide Leader for which they are responsible.
But of course, Beebe said that about Dodds on the same day severe issues in the Longhorn Network contract came to light that said the exact opposite.