At the time and ever since the Big 12 added West Virginia and TCU, college football media and fans have had their theories about why BYU was not included in the conference's expansion. The saga was so long that it's difficult to revisit here, but many writers, bloggers, and tweeters seemed to have their sources.
What has emerged is a clear narrative from members of the media about why the Big 12 passed on BYU, and these points have been hashed and rehashed many times over in the years that have followed. Those include:
- "Piece of work" BYU lawyers who wanted everything and would concede nothing
- BYU's over-the-top allegiance to BYUtv
- Sunday play
- Fear of missionaries (okay, they didn't say that)
Tim Montemayor of 1320 KFAN in Salt Lake spoke with Chuck Neinas, who served as the Big 12's interim commissioner during those additions, and Neinas essentially erased the narrative.
Montemayor shared the message via his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon:
I just spoke to Chuck Neinas the former Big XII Commissioner during their last expansion. When I asked him why #BYU was not offered he said:— Tim Montemayor (@TheMontyShow) April 29, 2015
#BYU made NO demands on anything. Neinas said the process did not work that way a committee met with officials from the schools targeted ...— Tim Montemayor (@TheMontyShow) April 29, 2015
...w/ a rich history of athletic achievement and Washington DC Metro area was very attractive if the conference was going to have to travel— Tim Montemayor (@TheMontyShow) April 29, 2015
"ESPN was part of the process, they had a voice in the evaluation... #BYU TV was not a sticking point, it did not come up".— Tim Montemayor (@TheMontyShow) April 29, 2015
...institutions in the country and we found nothing negative with them, West Virginia and Louisville for that matter, were just better fits"— Tim Montemayor (@TheMontyShow) April 29, 2015
Neinas also reiterated the common sense expectations of what will happen surrounding the pending decision to allow the Big 12 to stage a championship game with 10 members:
Neinas also said if the Big XII gets an exemption to play a Championship Game at 10 they will never expand past 10 because of finances...— Tim Montemayor (@TheMontyShow) April 29, 2015
Neinas: "The membership is aware they have a good financial model, going to 12 or 14 means a smaller piece of the pie for everyone"— Tim Montemayor (@TheMontyShow) April 29, 2015
Big XII also likes being at 10 for round robin conference play, single round robin in football, double round robin in basketball...— Tim Montemayor (@TheMontyShow) April 29, 2015
I guess we'll all have to go back to the drawing board for new talking points about BYU and the Big 12.