The Big 12 Convention despatched a “cease and desist” letter to ESPN on Wednesday, demanding that the community ends all actions that might hurt the convention and its members.
In a letter obtained by Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger, the Big 12 requires ESPN to not talk with the league’s current convention members or any NCAA convention relating to its members, doable convention realignment or potential monetary outcomes related to realignment.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby claims that ESPN—a present media rights companion of the convention—has taken actions to not solely “hurt” the league, however actions that “lead to monetary advantages for ESPN.”
The letter additionally states that ESPN is at present violating Part 20.2(c) of the Telecast Settlement with the Big 12 that states the community won’t “take any actions possible to impair, or [that are] inconsistent with the rights of the league below the settlement.”
Right here is the complete letter:
Past ESPN’s involvement within the announcement of Texas and Oklahoma intending to go away the Big 12 in 2025, Bowlsby told SI that he has documented proof that ESPN tried to encourage an unnamed convention to add Big 12 members in an effort to destabilize the league, that means Texas and Oklahoma might keep away from exit charges.
“It’s tortious interference,” Bowlsby stated.
The unnamed convention was the American Athletic Convention, in accordance to Dellenger. The AAC declined to touch upon that report to Dallas Morning News reporter Joseph Hoyt.
A source from the Big 12 told SI that the community is attempting to trigger “chaos and panic.”
“You suppose that you have seen all of it,” the supply stated. “You may’t make this s*** up. They need the Big 12 to dissolve for monetary achieve. However time is on our aspect.”
DELLENGER: Big 12 in Disarray With Anticipated Departures of Texas, Oklahoma
This information comes a day earlier than the SEC’s vote to decide if Texas and Oklahoma will be a part of the convention. No less than three-fourths of the SEC’s 14 members can have to vote sure on the convention growth.
Nonetheless, in accordance to Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News, the Big 12’s letter has nothing to do with the SEC’s vote on its convention growth.
MORE: Texas and Oklahoma Will not Renew Grants of Media Rights
ESPN claims that allegations in Bowlsby’s letter maintain no benefit.
Each Texas and Oklahoma—two of the founding members of the Big 12—took a pivotal step towards leaving the convention on Monday after they introduced they might not be renewing their grant of rights settlement. This allowed the SEC to formally think about including each packages to the convention.
Sources told Dellenger that each packages have been ready to wait till their grant of rights expires in 2025 to be a part of the SEC as an alternative of paying the $70 million exit price.
“It’s crucial that the eight of us don’t crack and we keep collectively for the 4 years and maintain OU, Texas and ESPN to the contracts even whether it is uncomfortable,” a Big 12 supply advised SI.
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