This time it isn’t coming from the New York Times. Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis gave the welcome to West Virginia on Friday.
“The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors are excited to welcome another outstanding institution to the Conference,” said Hargis.
Hargis is chairman of the Big12 board of directors, and in a release that accompanied the announcement, the board indicated the conference expects to have ten schools for the 2012-13 season, listing West Virginia, but not Missouri.
The announcement extends the troubles for the Big East Conference. West Virginia is one of the original members of the football conference, dating to 1991. Now, only Rutgers is left from the first set of members. The nation’s conference realignment talks have included the Big East, which reportedly hopes to recruit enough member universities to field a 12-team league.
Big East Commissioner John Marinatto says the Mountaineers will be expected to remain in the conference for another two years by contract, despite the Big12’s announcement, and that Syracuse and Pittsburgh – already announced as departing schools – are also expected to play in the Big East for another two years before joining the ACC.
Friday’s announcement ends the flip-flopping speculation as to whether the Mountaineers or Louisville would be tapped as a replacement for departing Missouri.