Let's start by getting this out of the way. Our reaction to this has very little pull or real meaning in the grand scheme of things. At this point it makes sense for us to say we're committed to the Big 12. First off we don't know of a better option. Secondly, any better option we might come across likely includes one of the key members of our current conference.
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little:
"Today Texas A&M notified the Big 12 of its intention to leave the conference at the end of the 2011-12 season. The Big 12 had already started actively examining expansion opportunities and KU fully supports this effort.
"The high level of competition in the Big 12 provides tremendous value to its member schools and excitement for fans around the country. We'll aggressively pursue the best interests of the University of Kansas, our student-athletes and fans, and that continues to be for the Big 12 to remain strong and competitive."
Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger:
"We have known for some time that this was a possibility. We have nine institutions firmly committed to the Big 12 Conference. Chancellor Gray-Little and I will continue working together with Commissioner Beebe, the Big 12 Board of Directors and the other conference members as we take the necessary steps to ensure the continued strength of this conference."
The good news in all of this is that the conference continues to voice the intention of looking at expansion and preparing for expansion. The other good news is that we now have an opening to rename the conference to "The Big 9". It seems like a better option than the Big 12(-3 or more).