Significant 12 alleges ESPN hoping to ‘destabilize’ league network claims statements ‘have no merit’

Major 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby accused ESPN of encouraging other conferences to choose aside the league so Texas and Oklahoma can transfer to the Southeastern Convention a lot more promptly and without having shelling out a huge buyout.

“I have complete certainty that they (ESPN) have been concerned in manipulating other conferences to go following our members,” Bowlsby explained to The Associated Push on Wednesday following sending a stop-and-desist letter to the community.

The letter addressed to ESPN executive Burke Magnus, president of programming and content, stated the Huge 12 had become knowledgeable the community experienced taken actions “to not only hurt the Huge 12 Conference but to final result in financial added benefits for ESPN.”

ESPN, which owns the SEC Community, signed a $3 billion deal with the SEC last year that will give the community the broadcast legal rights to all the conference’s football games beginning in 2024.

The community also has a agreement with the Large 12, while it shares those people legal rights with Fox. People promotions expire in 2025.

In the letter, Bowlsby stated that ESPN has “actively engaged in conversations with at least 1 other meeting concerning that meeting inducing more Members of the Massive 12 Meeting to go away the Large 12 Conference.”

Bowlsby declined to name the meeting in an job interview with AP, but a particular person with know-how of the condition said the commissioner was referring to the American Athletic Conference. The person spoke on issue of anonymity due to the fact the Major 12 didn’t authorize the release of that info.

The American agreed to a 12-calendar year, $1 billion deal in 2019 with ESPN.

“The claims in the letter have no merit,” ESPN stated in a statement.

Texas and Oklahoma educated the Significant 12 this 7 days they would not be renewing an agreement that binds them to the league and its 8 other users till 2025. The grant of media rights operates concurrently with the Huge 12′s billion-greenback tv contracts with ESPN and Fox.

On Tuesday, Texas and Oklahoma submitted a request to the SEC to sign up for that league in 2025. To be a part of the convention before than that could expense the educational facilities tens of millions of pounds — until the Major 12 had been to tumble aside due to the fact some of the other members left as properly.

“ESPN is incentivizing other conferences to destabilize the Significant 12,” Bowlsby additional.

In addition to the SEC and AAC, ESPN owns the rights to all Atlantic Coastline Convention athletics and shares the legal rights to the Large 10 and Pac-12 with Fox.

Bowlsby informed AP that Texas and Oklahoma have been doing the job on a transfer to the SEC for months, undertaking so when taking element in Significant 12 strategy meetings wherever proprietary info was shared.

Bowlsby explained he suspects ESPN was associated powering the scenes when Texas and Oklahoma ended up in discussions with the SEC, but he has no proof of that.

“This total point has been a comprehensive articulation of deception,” he mentioned.

SEC college presidents and chancellors are scheduled to fulfill tomorrow, but it is unclear if they will vote on extending invitations to convention to Oklahoma and Texas. Eleven of the 14 associates would require to vote in favor of inviting a new member, and it seems that would not be a trouble.

Texas A&M officials had voiced their displeasure last 7 days with the probability of rival Texas signing up for the SEC, but A&M’s board of regents on Wednesday directed college president Katherine Financial institutions to vote in favor of the Longhorns and Sooners coming aboard.