Former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe wanted revenue sharing deal

John Nestor – AHN Sports Correspondent

Bristol, CT, United States (AHN Sports) – Once former Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe was out revenue sharing was in, even though it was one of his ideas years ago.

One of the first things the conference did after ousting Beebe was agree to equally share revenue from the conference’s major TV rights.

It was a deal like the Pac-12 and Big Ten-like that replaced the Big 12’s old model that had rewarded schools based on appearances.

It was a “bittersweet” development for Beebe, who said in an interview with ESPN.com that it was something he attempted two years ago.

But the Nebraska Cornhuskers stood in the way, he said.

“It could have kept all 12 together,” Beebe said Saturday, nearly three weeks after his contract was bought out by the Big 12 board of directors on Sept. 22. “I proposed it two years ago when Nebraska and Colorado were in the league as we prepared for our television negotiations we did last spring.”

Beebe told ESPN that the recent rash of defections from the Big 12 did not have to happen.

“I asked for them to consider it,” Beebe said of the revenue-sharing pact. “Nebraska was one of the biggest objectors of equal revenue rights, and their president Harvey Perlman said that. We could have done this two years ago and none of this would have happened.”

Beebe said he was glad to see Oklahoma and Texas agree to the six-year, grant-of-rights pact, adopted last week by the Big 12 board of directors.

The reports said that the Sooners and Longhorns had also not been in favor of the equalized revenue plan.

“It’s bittersweet with what’s going on,” Beebe said. “I want this conference to make it. I really, truly enjoyed and working with so many of the people and coaches and administrators.

“But it’s bitter in that these are policies that I recommended quite a while ago and that (his predecessor) Kevin Weiberg recommended, too. If it was needed to have a new voice to do it then that’s fine. The conference is bigger than Dan Beebe. But on a personal level it’s hard.”

The Big 12 signed a 13-year, $1.2 billion deal from Fox Sports in April, even after Nebraska and Colorado were left the conference. The league’s deal with ABC/ESPN expires in 2016.

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