Breaking down the biggest changes from new Big 12 Commissioner


Photo Courtesy of the Big 12 Conference

New Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark. 

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

It has been just shy of four months since Brett Yormark was appointed as commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, and the league has already seen massive changes in both strategy and mindset.

While there have been a lot of issues that Yormark has discussed over his first handful of media appearances, here are three of the top priorities that the staff is looking at.

Young and fun

One of the biggest things that Yormark has stressed in his time at the top of the Big 12 is making the conference more engaging to young fans.

There are a few ways that the conference has begun to do this, one of which is through social media.

There have already been some tweets sent out by the Big 12 intended to engage the young audience.

“We’ve got to connect with youth culture,” Yormark said at Big 12 football media day back in July. “We’ve got to get in the consciousness of student-athletes. We’ve got to stand for all the right things.”

Yormark has not tipped his hand on more ways he plans to draw in the youth, but it is a major focus.

TV Deal

The group of Cincinnati, BYU, UCF and Houston that will be entering the conference in the next few years to replace Texas and Oklahoma is strategic on the part of the Big 12. 

The conference previously had all of the schools in one geographical strip down the center of the United States. Now with the additions of BYU in Utah and UCF in Florida, the Big 12 is tapping into markets across the nation.

Expanding on these markets has made the Big 12 more attractive to television stations.

The Big 12 has a 13-year deal worth well over $2 billion with ESPN and Fox, but there are only three years left on the deal.

The future of the conference relies on the deal that Yormark and his staff are able to get, and no matter how big or how little of a role he plays in the deal, all eyes will be on him.

Organizing NIL process

Although name, image and likeness rules fall more into the hands of the NCAA, Yormark still has a lot to say about his thoughts on NIL.

Yormark is a huge believer in NIL being the future of college athletics and thinks the Big 12 needs to do more to draw recruits in from that department.

Another thing that Yormark discussed in terms of NIL is it needs more organization. With the current format, people are unsure who is signing NIL and what the process to do so is.

Without this structure, businesses are unsure how to reach out to athletes, which hurts the system.