After five days of waiting, TCU announced what most expected. The university will join the Big 12 conference next year. Chancellor Victor Boschini, Jr. publicized the news at a press conference Monday evening.
"Joining the Big 12 connects us not only to schools with whom we share a rich tradition in sports, but also to schools committed to academic excellence,” Boschini said.
Interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas, chairman of the TCU board of trustees Clarence Scharbauer III and Athletic Director Chris del Conte added their thoughts and excitement for the move at the press conference Monday night.
“(After the Big 12 invitation) I went inside and I shed a tear because we worked so hard to be here,” Del Conte said. “It’s an amazing time for us.”
Big 12 officials voted unanimously Thursday morning to ask TCU to join the conference.
“Acting upon a unanimous recommendation of its expansion subcommittee, the Big 12 Conference board of directors has 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.” Missouri is said to be seeking a bid to join the SEC.
TCU would start as a Big 12 member next school year. TCU was scheduled to join the Big East conference on July 1, 2012. Since the university decided to join the Big 12, they will pay a buyout fee of $5 million.
Rumors of the possible move reached news and radio stations across the nation. Fans and Big 12 schools shared their excitement for the bid before the official announcement was made.
TCU alumnus and retired sportswriter Dan Jenkins said “(The Big 12 would bring TCU) back with old friends and rivals. He also said it would be easier for fans and students to travel to Big 12 schools.
"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,” Baylor University’s Athletic Director Ian McCaw said.
President of Oklahoma State University Burns Hargis said “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.”
The Big 12 offers the closest away game compared to the Big East and Mountain West. Iowa State is the farthest school from Fort Worth at 770 miles away.
"With our historical ties to Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech, as well as the close proximity to the other league members, we couldn’t be more excited to have the Big 12 as our new home," del Conte said.
Speculation of TCU inheriting A&M’s schedule for next year flew around last week. If this were true TCU would play University of Texas Thanksgiving week. Del Conte said he assumed that was true at the press conference but did not verify.
TCU is in the process of a $164 million renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadium. The stadium is slated to include multiple suites and club seats and to add new decks. TCU rolled out the ready renovations at TCU’s first home game with a new sound system, video board and a new entry for the football team.
TCU has a conference history including Southwest Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference. Although TCU was scheduled to join the Big East conference, they will now add the Big 12 to their list.
“It is definitely a great day to be a TCU Horned Frog,” del Conte said.
For more, stay tuned to www.tcu360.com.