Big 12 Media Day
DALLAS, Texas-The first snap from center won’t happen for a few more days, but Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the head coaches from the 10-league members were in mid-season form during the two-day media event held on Monday and Tuesday.
Bowlsby got things rolling by addressing the problems with providing the Big 12’s view of the ongoing court battles that the NCAA is dealing with as well as how programs will deal with the expected rising costs if institutions provide the “cost of attendance” scholarship that has been suggested as a way to better aid today’s student/athlete.
“Title IX doesn’t go away because we’re going to do something with higher benefits for student-athletes in a couple of sports,” said the commissioner of one of the Big 5 conferences. “We have both a legal obligation and a moral obligation to do for female student-athletes and male Olympic-sport student-athletes just exactly what we do for football and basketball student-athletes.”
One of those answers may see schools drop programs as a means to address the upcoming costs.
“You begin to look and say, ‘Do we want to have 25 sports and fund this broad array of benefits or would we be better off to fund a broader array and sponsor only 20 sports?'” said Bowlsby. “So that’s why I think it’s not too much of a leap.”
The Big 12’s newest leader also fired off the first salvo in the war that is college athletics when he was asked about the cheating that has become rampant in college sports.
“No, I don’t think it’s rampant – I don’t think that at all,” said Bowlsby. “I think our coaches and programs are of high integrity, and I don’t have any concerns on a local basis. I don’t think it’s cut rate out there, but I think those that conspire to do things that are intended to get around the rules have less resistance to it now than then. They’ve gotten very sophisticated. It’s easy to move money around.
“There are lots of people outside of universities that are handling things and they can’t be compelled to testify even if they get caught.”
Those were only a few of the quotes that made headlines during the week. Here are a few more:
- Charlie Weis, Kansas: When asked to put a number of wins on this year’s season, the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator replied, “Yes, I can,” but then added, “No, I won’t.
“I think it’s really, really important that your team’s expectations must be clearly defined, but we haven’t done a thing in the two years I’ve been here. We won one game two years ago, we won three games last year, we won one game in the conference, we haven’t won a game on the road. So for me to get up here and say these are what my expectations are for you, I’m not very smart.”
- Art Briles, Baylor: In response to being perceived as the conference’s “heavyweight” on day one of Media Day.
“You know, I appreciate that perception,” said Briles. “But we certainly don’t perceive ourselves that way. We still see ourselves – me personally and our team – as the guy fighting hard, scratching hard to try to get some recognition and some respect.
“And that’s something we’re having to deal with a little bit is perception – the image of Baylor football. It’s a little different than what it has been in the past, thanks to our players.”
- Gary Patterson, TCU: On an expected quarterback battle when the Horned Frogs report for practice.
“I would prefer someone would win,” said Patterson, although adding, “I don’t really care how that whole thing works out. I do believe he (Trevone Boykin) gives you different components that maybe a Matt Joeckel doesn’t. But the two quarterbacks, they both run well. Matt’s more of a prototype dropback guy, but both throw the ball real well. And they can really spin it.
“It’s all about whatever gets our best 11 on the field to give us an opportunity to win.”
- Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: When asked about the omission of Devon Thomas from the Cowboys’ roster.
“The roster that we handed out today are the players that will report next week,” said Gundy. “And if there’s a player that’s not on that roster, then he’s not a part of our team.”
- Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech: When asked about the Red Raiders’ five-game losing streak, the former Texas Tech quarterback responded by saying:
“I think last year, it was what it was. But in our conference, you have to play everybody every year. It doesn’t matter when you play them; you got to gear up and be ready for it.”
- Bob Stoops, Oklahoma: On the topic of full scholarships and the potential for additional compensation for student-athletes.
“I’ve always been in favor of the cost of attendance,” said Stoops. “So whatever that entails and the more we can continue to support these players in different ways, whether it’s transportation home and on and on, I think it’s always good that that cost of attendance obviously would benefit us in being able to transport players back home and back to school on breaks. That kind of thing is – were always positive steps – and hopefully, we can continue to take them.”
- Paul Rhoads, Iowa State: On the addition of former Kansas head coach Mark Mangino as offensive coordinator.
“I reached out to him and certainly had great respect for what he’s done in our profession,” said Rhoads. “It took me a week one day to get to Pittsburgh through Detroit. And as weather can be that time of year, it condensed what I wanted the additional interview process to be.
“I spent eight years in Pittsburgh, and Mark’s a western PA guy. So we knew each other through mutual people that way and had a respect because of that.”
- Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia: When asked about recruiting athletes to play defense in the Big 12.
“When you play in the Big 12, you’re going to have to defend the pass, and you’re going to have to do it quickly,” said Holgorsen. “I think everybody understands the style of play that exists in the Big 12, and we’re no different.
“When it comes to recruiting defensive personnel, we try to recruit as much defensive personnel as we can. Better have some big guys up front that can stop the run. You better have some linebackers that can fill gaps and stop the run. In addition to that, you better be able to drop coverage and be able to cover. The secondary is probably the most important position on defense in today’s day and time.”
- Bill Snyder, Kansas State: When told by a reporter that there have been 48 new head coaches in the Big 12 during his tenure.
“Where do you get those stats?” asked Snyder. “What was the end result you were hoping for? Dig a little deeper – you might find it.”
- Charlie Strong, Texas: When asked about the use of fear as a motivational tool.
“I don’t think I fear anyone,” said Strong. “Just look at me. I don’t think they get afraid of me at all. But when you talk about motivation, you always look at it differently-just how can we get something to lean your hat on where you get the players, where they understand just how important it is.”