Statement from Baylor President Ken Starr on Big 12's Promising Future

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Baylor President Ken Starr
June 15, 2010

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Baylor University President Ken Starr released the following statement today about the perseverance of the Big 12 Conference and its historic rivalries:

After a number of very busy and challenging weeks, today we celebrate the perseverance of the Big 12 and the fact that Baylor University will continue to compete against its historic rivals, which represent some of the finest athletic programs and traditions in the United States, and right here in Texas.

We express our great appreciation to our fellow Big 12 institutions for remaining committed to our partnership and the vision of this conference.

It is not surprising that the athletic programs of the Big 12 have attracted such a high level of interest. Many of our athletic programs are well established among the most elite programs in the nation.

That is why we are especially grateful for the support of our fellow Texas institutions who believed in the benefits and significance of keeping the Texas schools of the Big 12 together. We applaud the strong leadership of the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University. We value the commitment they have made to this new, 10-team Big 12 model and for choosing this strong path forward, which also honors rivalries that have mattered to generations of Texas citizens.

Devoted faculty, staff, students and alumni of the Baylor family championed the cause of the Big 12 and spoke out on behalf of their beloved university. I am indebted, as well, to the dedicated members of the Baylor University Board of Regents, who diligently led our efforts to ensure Baylor's interests would be represented and protected.

I also wish to express our profound gratitude to the members of the Texas Legislature and other elected officials, as well as prominent business and community leaders, who spoke out so effectively in support of the Big 12 and its importance to economic welfare and quality of life in our state.

Finally, we appreciate the skillful leadership of Commissioner Dan Beebe, who worked creatively and diligently to demonstrate just how well a 10-team consortium of the Big 12 could work. We are also deeply appreciative of the efforts of our own Athletics Director, Ian McCaw, and his staff, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the Big 12 will remain one of our nation's foremost athletic conferences.

With our fellow institutions, we now look forward to strengthening the bond among a 10-team conference that preserves traditions that have long meant so much to our alumni. The arrangement to which we have agreed safeguards the best interests of our student-athletes, while promising future revenues that will benefit our students and our programs.

Media contacts: Nick Joos, Senior Associate Athletic Director, External Affairs, Baylor Athletics, (254) 710-3043 or Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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