Slideshow: Big 12 schools express support for TCU

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    News of a proposed invitation extended Thursday morning from the Big 12 Conference to TCU has sparked reactions from students, athletic teams and universities across the country.

    The Big 12 issued a statement Oct. 6, explaining its decision to welcome TCU into the conference.

    “Acting upon a unanimous recommendation of its expansion subcommittee, the Big 12 Conference board of directors this morning authorized negotiations with Texas Christian University to become the conference’s 10th member and instructed Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas to immediately begin discussions with TCU. The action of the board was without dissent. On the advice of legal counsel, the University of Missouri did not participate in the vote.”

    Big 12 member and TCU rival Baylor University issued a statement from the Athletic Director, Ian McCaw, expressing their agreement with the conference’s choice.

    “The Big 12 has made significant progress today in restoring stability to its membership. We are grateful for the leadership of Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas along with the Big 12 board of directors for today’s decisive action. Baylor President Ken Starr has played an extremely important role in this effort.

    "Baylor highly values its more-than-century-old rivalry with TCU. Fans from both schools will be able to take advantage of the close proximity of the institutions in supporting their teams at future games.”

    President of Oklahoma  State University Burns Hargis also released an encouraging statement about the future and how TCU’s academic and athletic abilities will add to the success of the conference.

    “We have successfully addressed some critical issues and today have taken important steps forward for the future of the Big 12 Conference. Our member institutions have worked diligently to bring stability to one of the nation’s premier conferences. We still have work to do and will continue to do everything necessary to ensure the future of the Big 12 is brighter than it has ever been.

    “We are delighted to extend an invitation to Texas Christian University to join the conference. TCU is an excellent fit for the Big 12 in terms of its excellent academics, its top-notch athletic programs and its proximity to the other members of the conference. We look forward to the Horned Frogs becoming a member of the Big 12.”

    Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger of the University of Kansas said that the addition of the Horned Frogs would prove beneficial to all involved.

    “This is a good day for the Big 12 Conference,” Zenger said. “The news of granting of rights and equal revenue-sharing and league expansion bears testament to the hard work of our board of directors and the stability subcommittee within the Big 12 Conference.”

    “We all believe that Texas Christian University is a great addition to the Big 12,” Zenger said. “Their geographic proximity to the rest of the schools, their academic credibility, and their athletic achievements make them an obvious fit.”

    “The University of Kansas has a strong alumni base in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and continues to attract students from that area, as well,” he said. “For us as an institution, that’s an additional benefit of this news.”

    More approval for TCU’s invitation came from statements issued from the University of Oklahoma’s President David Boren and the University of Texas’ Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds.

    “TCU is an excellent choice as a new member of the conference. They bring strong athletics and academic credentials and were enthusiastically and unanimously supported by all of the members of the conference. There could be other additions in the future,” Boren said.

    “We’re proud that TCU has been invited to join the Big 12. Their commitment to academics and success on the field make them an excellent fit. With a solid budget and strong financial support, they have been proactive at improving facilities. Their close proximity to all conference institutions makes for a comfortable travel situation,” Dodd said.