IRVING, Texas - The Big 12 Conference has gone from the brink of collapse only a few short years ago to record revenue.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Friday that the league's 10 schools will share a record $198 million for the 2012-13 school year, an amount expected to increase significantly going forward.
The eight continuing members of the Big 12 - Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech - will get about $22 million each this time. Newcomers TCU and West Virginia will get half shares for 2012-13, about $11 million each from their first year in the Big 12.
"We like the amount of money that we're distributing on an institution by institution basis. There's a lot to like about our current circumstance,'' Bowlsby said at the end of the league's spring meetings "And I can understand some uneasiness, especially based on what has gone on the last couple of years. ... I think our league is rock-solid and we have done everything we can, in the near term and in the long term, to keep this group of 10 schools together in perpetuity. And I think we also have done that and maintained a full set of prerogatives should circumstances change in the future.''
Big 12 teams shared $183 million in revenue in 2011-12, the last year in the league for Texas A&M and Missouri before their departures to the Southeastern Conference.
TCU and West Virginia will get higher percentages each of the next two years before being fully-vested Big 12 members in 2015-16, by which time Bowlsby said the league's 10 teams should be getting about $30 million each from the conference. That could reach $40 million within another decade after that over the length of the Big 12's TV contract with ESPN and Fox Sports.
And those figures don't even include third-tier broadcast rights, such as Texas' agreement with ESPN for the Longhorn Network. That 20-year, $300 million partnership between Texas and ESPN began before the 2011 football season.
The SEC said Friday that its 14 teams will get about $20.7 million each from league revenue of about $289 million.
Bowlsby's arrival as the Big 12's commissioner a year ago followed two summers of uncertainty for the 12-team league, which then lost four schools to three other conferences.
Texas and Oklahoma decided in the summer of 2010 to remain in the Big 12 after interest from the then-Pac-10 about moving them West with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech as potentially part of a 16-team league. Colorado did leave the Big 12 for the expanded Pac-12 after the 2010-11 academic year, the same time Nebraska left for the Big Ten.
The following year, the board of regents at Texas and Oklahoma took action to empower their presidents to choose a new conference home. Both obviously stayed put.