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Big 12 lives to play another day

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By The Staff

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Staring at extinction, the Big 12 is once again in play.

The beleaguered conference made a rousing comeback Monday, when Texas declined an invitation to join the Pac-10 and decided to stay in the Big 12.

Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M quickly followed the Longhorns by recommitting to the conference after commissioner Dan Beebe convinced his members they would make more money in television and media deals in a 10-team Big 12 then in a 16-team Pac-10.

A person with direct knowledge of discussions among the Big 12's remaining members said Texas is clear to set up its own TV network and keep all proceeds in exchange for remaining in the Big 12. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because final details had not been worked out.

"Everybody is feeling much more confident the Big 12 is going to survive," the person said. "Everybody's going to be making more money."

Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin provided additional details regarding A&M's decision in a letter addressed to 'The Aggie Family' posted on the school's web site Monday night. He said by remaining a member of the Big 12: "We were able to more than double our financial return to the levels being offered by other conferences."


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