Revenue, scheduling details emerge in wake of TCU's jump to Big 12

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
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There were probably more than a few people sleeping in around the TCU campus Tuesday morning. After one of the most momentous days in the school's history -- TCU announcing it will join the Big 12 in July -- it's understandable if a few late Monday nights turned into long Tuesday mornings.

But athletic director Chris Del Conte was not one of them. He was up for a morning conference call with Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas.

Del Conte wasn't ready to start nailing down details of the Frogs' entrance into the league, but a few pieces of information emerged.

A source within TCU's athletic department said TCU will gradually slide into the conference's revenue-sharing structure over the next four years. TCU will earn 50 percent of the normal $17 million payout in the 2012-13 academic year, 67 percent in 2013-14, 84 percent in 2014-15, and 100 percent in 2015-16.

TCU will not simply take over Texas A&M's slot in the schedule next season, Neinas said, meaning TCU will not play Texas on Thanksgiving weekend.

"We're in the process of reviewing the schedule," Neinas said. "There's nothing definite there. In all likelihood that will not be the case."

Del Conte said TCU will not have to change its 2012 nonconference football schedule, except possibly moving a previously scheduled game with Oklahoma -- which becomes a conference game -- to later in the season. The Frogs were scheduled to host the Sooners in September. Del Conte still was basking in the glow of the move and not too worried about the particulars of next season's schedule.

"We're not looking for games. Our schedule won't change," he said. "It's not that important to have that game early. Mr. Neinas will send us a schedule and we'll be ready to roll when we get it."

Del Conte declined to comment on whether he preferred a 10- or 12-team league and the merits of a conference championship game.

"I haven't had the opportunity to sit around a table and listen to the elder statesmen and talk about the pros and cons of a championship game, so until that happens my opinion won't be set."

TCU will compete in the Big 12 in all but one of its 20 sports. The rifle team, which won the national championship a year ago, will continue to compete as an independent. TCU's equestrian team, which competed independently while in the Mountain West, will join Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State in the conference.

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