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Report: Big 12 sent a letter to Tony Frank, is taking notice of Colorado State

Justin Michael Avatar
May 10, 2016


Recently, we took a look at what Colorado State brings to the table as far as Big 12 expansion goes. Ultimately, CSU has built a strong case for expansion, and according to ESPN’s Jake Trotter, documents show that there have been conversations between university officials and members of the Big 12.

According to documents obtained by Trotter, West Virginia President and member of the Big 12 Gordon Gee, who is in charge of exploring expansion candidates has shown interest in the University of Houston, Memphis, Central Florida and Colorado State.

Trotter shows that in a July 21 letter to Tony Frank, Gee made it very clear the conference has taken notice of CSU. 

“Indeed, Colorado State is making a statement and moving swiftly into the forefront of universities, not only in your region but nationally,” Gee wrote. “Be assured that my colleagues in the Big 12 and I will take careful notice.”

Interestingly, in an article published by the Coloradoan this morning, Kelly Lyell reported that Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker said he hasn’t spoken with the Big 12 and CSU’s AD claimed there is no need to lobby the Big 12.

“From our perspective, we want to be the very best version of Colorado State University that we can be,” Parker said. “And in doing that, I think we will hopefully garner some attention and maybe be able to enter into a dialogue or conversation about whether we would be a likely option for expansion if expansion is going to be contemplated.”

With the Big 12 presidents and athletic directors set to meet in May, expansion is expected to be the main topic of discussion. Parker is obviously playing the situation cool, as he should. As one of the founding members of the Mountain West, CSU has played a large role in the history of the conference, and even if expansion leads to Colorado State in the Big 12, Parker does not need to step on the toes of the current MW members in the process.

CSU has built a strong case for expansion over the last five years with athletic success across the board and the school’s athletic programs are continuing to increase the national brand of the Colorado State Rams.

Whether CSU is going to admit it publicly or not, it is clear the university has taken steps toward joining the Power 5. They hired Jim McElwain to an unprecedented contract and then hired Mike Bobo to be his replacement, with Bobo continuing a winning tradition McElwain began in 2012. The school revamped Moby Arena to make it more appealing to fans, including the addition to the Colorado State Sports Hall of Fame. And, of course, the progress on the new, on-campus stadium is moving quickly as it’s on schedule to be open for business in August of 2017.

CSU is trending in the right direction at the right time. If the Big 12 does choose to expand, Fort Collins and the Denver television market are going to be discussed as a viable option.

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