The discussion has been so off and on. The Big 12 is seriously considering adding Gonzaga in 2024 or 2025. The downside to this move would be that the Bulldogs may have to accept less revenue (like Cal, Stanford, SMU did when joining the ACC) in order to do so.
The conference brought up this idea with its television partners (ESPN and Fox Sports) while negotiating a six-year contract extension worth more than $2 billion. The contract did state that if the Big 12 were to add a non-Power 5 school like Gonzaga, the payout per school would decrease for the league’s current members.
Brett Yormark, the Big 12 Commissioner, is leading the charge on this discussion and is seeking the most loaded basketball league imaginable. The goal is get the league to market at the end of the decade and have separate media deals for both football and basketball.
After shutting down expansion talks involving Gonzaga back in August, Yormark revisited the topic when he made a pitch during separate sessions with the league’s athletic directors and presidents in Dallas, Texas.
The league’s schools would have to sort out the logistics of scheduling, travelling, and how the conference tournament will be formatted with 17 schools to account for Gonzaga. Not to mention the financial impacts that came with the additions of Cincinnati, BYU and UCF.
And as for UConn potentially joining the conference, there is no current dialogue between Yormark and the Huskies despite earlier negotiations.
Could this move for the Zags to the Big 12 realistically happen within the next week? Only time will tell.
Arden Cravalho is a Gonzaga University graduate from the Bay Area... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho