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Believing In The Big 12

Oct. 6, 2010

On Monday, June 7 -- just six days after Starr took office at Baylor -- the Waco Tribune-Herald ran an editorial by the university's new president (later picked up by the Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle) in which President Starr stressed Baylor's support for the Big 12 and belief that the conference could move forward in strength.

"Let me make our perspective clear: Baylor emphatically supports the Big 12," he wrote. "We remain hopeful that the Big 12 will remain intact and continue to be one of the nation's foremost athletic conferences."

He and McCaw (along with Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe) repeated that message almost daily until things settled. As the days progressed, the Big 12 bandwagon led by Starr and McCaw gained members. Other university presidents and athletic directors stepped forward to publicly pledge support to the Big 12, and by June 15, all 10 remaining member institutions released statements committing to the league.

When settlements with Nebraska and Colorado were reached in late September, Starr was again at the forefront as one of three university presidents tasked with negotiating terms. Starr, Kansas State President Kirk Schulz and Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis worked together to ensure a process that avoided lengthy and costly litigation.

"President Starr's diplomacy, experience and legal acumen were of great benefit to the Big 12 during this process," said Beebe.

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