Earlier this spring when it appeared that the Big 12 was imploding, Commissioner Dan Beebe came up with a plan to entice Texas, OU and A&M to stick around. He got the other remaining members to agree to a cash distribution that would guarantee those three programs at least $20 million a year in conference revenue.
The money supposedly would come from an increase in media rights along with the exit fees that Nebraska and Colorado would pay as they walked out the door. Both Texas and OU said they appreciated the gesture but would make do with the TV and conference revenue they would earn.
Texas A&M, however, said "We want the money, and we want the agreement in writing."
A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said Wednesday,
"A key part of Texas A&M’s decision to remain in the Big 12 earlier this summer was the commissioner’s commitment that Texas A&M would receive a minimum of $20 million annually in future conference distributions," Loftin said. "We remain committed to the conference and fully anticipate that the Big 12 will honor its commitment to Texas A&M."
The Aggies added that how the league comes up with the money isn't their concern, and while the brotherhood that is the Big 12 is nice and all, they want the deal in writing -- or else.
Can't You Just Feel The Big 12 Love?
It is true that right now the $20 million is basically smoke and mirrors, with the networks supposedly willing to pony up more money for the Big 12-2 as well as the $30-40 million that Nebraska and Colorado owe for jumping ship.
The A&M Athletics Department just needs the cash, seeing as how they were $16 million in debt and had to borrow the money from the school's general fund.
Of course the $20 million could go a long way towards solving one of the most pressing problems on the A&M campus.