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Conference Realignment Link Dump

I felt like doing a couple of posts this morning and rather than much up the football post with conference realignment talk, here we are.

It seems as if the quotes of the day are from Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione and I thought that CT's Dave Matter was quite poignant regarding the differences between Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe and Castiglione:

This isn’t meant as a knock on Beebe, whom I don’t think quite deserves the human piñata treatment he gets from some, but if you didn’t know any better and walked into Castiglione’s interview scrum and the smaller one that formed upstairs around Beebe, you’d have trouble figuring out which one was the league commissioner. Again, not meant as a slight to Beebe, but Castiglione made what was easily the week’s most impassioned case for the Big 12 to stick together. Of all the ADs who have addressed the realignment/expansion issue this week, Castiglione was clearly the league’s most outspoken and most compelling advocate for conference unity.

Castiglione pointed out that his unique experience as a former AD from the North Division and a current AD from the South Division gives him a unique perspective on any perceived squabbling between the two:

"I sat at the table when we formed the league," he said. "I think that perspective has helped me a great deal, knowing philosophies and cultures and mind-sets, options and opportunities for all schools. Some times people like to focus on the strength of one institution instead of the strength of 12 together. We have to get the focus back on the 12 together, not just one institution."

The Kansas City Star's Blair Kerkoff and the Tulsa World have a similar articles, noting that OU's Castiglione and Texas A&M's Bill Byrne make it clear they want the Big 12 to stay together:

"From an A&M perspective we want to stay together," Byrne said. "We’re committed to this."

And Friday is "decision day", or at least that's what Beebe hopes.  The Big 12 athletic directors have met for the last two days, while the the university Presidents and Chancellors will meet on Friday (I think the AD's, Presidents and Chancellors are all meeting today).  Yahoo! Sports Jason King and LSJ Brian Christopherson write that Nebraska AD expects that a decision will be made on Friday . . . maybe:

"I’m not trying to push it off on the presidents," Osborne said. "But essentially, those are the guys that are going to have to make the decision on what happens.

"The presidents will make some sort of decision by Friday, I would think. It may be yes, no or somewhere in between."

The Chron's Brent Zwerneman writes that Beebe would like a decision on Friday, he may not get it:

"There's a lot of interest by a lot of the athletic directors to try and get to the same goal I have — some sort of conclusion on the commitment of all institutions," Beebe said Wednesday, in response to Osborne's comments. "I just don't know if that's possible or not. The presidents and the board are the ones who have to answer that."

I guess I've always wondered what Beebe's leverage is in terms of having a decision on Friday.  I suppose that this would be like giving your employer some sort of notice if you intend on taking another job, but there's obviously no obligation and I guess that this is more out of professional courtesy than anything else.

And to answer your question, I did not see any quotes from Gerald.