Those signing the letter included Comstock Resources CEO Jay Allison, BBA '78, MS '80, JD '81; Baylor Health Care System President and CEO Joel Allison, BA '70; BMC Software Chairman and CEO Bob Beauchamp, Baylor Regent; McLane Group Chairman Drayton McLane, BBA '58; Perry Homes Chairman of the Board Bob Perry, BS '53, MSED '62; XTO Energy Chairman of the Board Bob Simpson, BBA '70, MS '71; Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Group Chairman and President Jim Turner, BBA '69; and former Texas Governor Mark White, BBA '62, JD '65.
"We embrace and celebrate the great rivalries that have grown over the last century between UT, A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor. We want to see those rivalries thrive and continue," the letter read. "This isn't just a Baylor issue. It's a Texas issue. And we stand stronger when we stand together."
Waco Mayor Jim Bush and Terry Stevens, chair of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce's executive committee, held a press conference June 10 urging the Big 12's members to remain together.
"This is a major endeavor, and we want to keep Baylor involved in the Big 12," said Bush. "Baylor's tradition in both the old Southwest Conference and the current Big 12 is bumping on 100 years. ... These are things that are part of the fabric of this community."
Houston Chronicle columnist Richard Justice also made the case for Baylor and the Big 12 in the paper's June 9 edition, calling for the Big 12 to keep Baylor at the table. "Baylor has come too far and has too much to offer. Baylor deserves to be rewarded, not punished. In some ways, Baylor is a bright and shining light for what college sports ought to be about," Justice wrote. "Baylor's climb to respectability provides a road map for Houston, Rice and every other school that would like to make itself relevant. Instead of cursing the darkness, Baylor lit candles. ... Baylor ought to be as joined at the hip with Texas as Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Baylor matters."