Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark’s popularity both in Norman, Okla. and in Austin is now on the same level as the the most despised person in both communities, the designer of Interstate 35.
A little more than one week after Yormark intentionally/unintentionally shoved his right and left foot directly into his mouth, in Lubbock, he made a public appearance at another Big 12 university.
Not Texas. Not Oklahoma. He probably should skip those schools for the entire academic year.
On Friday, Yormark was in friendly Fort Worth on the eve of TCU’s first game, against future Big 12 member, Colorado.
Inside TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium on Friday afternoon, Yormark joined TCU athletic director athletic director Jeremiah Donati, chancellor Victor Boschini with Colorado AD Rick George and CU president Phil DiStefano to discuss the future of the Big 12.
A few hours after the ACC announced the Stanford, California and SMU will join its league next year, the Big 12 celebrated its own future.
“We feel like there will be less travel,” George said, a subtle shot at the future of the Big 10 and ACC.
Unlike last week when Yormark was in Lubbock, he’s not going to shrink his “Friend Group” with anything he said in Fort Worth.
Yormark made a few headlines, and more enemies, last week at a Texas Tech Red Raider event and said, “And coach (football coach Joey McGuire), I’m not going to put any pressure on you, but I’m going to be in Austin for Thanksgiving, OK? “And you’d better take care of business like you did right here in Lubbock last year.”
The comment caused Boomer Sooner nation and all things burnt orange to throw a hissy fit.
The fan bases of both schools, equally renowned for reason and self control, are only too sure this comment is an on-the-record confirmation that the league is “out to get” them both in this the final year of the Big 12 before they go to the SEC.
Texas coach Steve Sarkisian told the local media in Austin, “I got a letter from the commissioner about sportsmanship the day before that speech. So, I’m trying to figure out about what are we promoting to our student-athletes and then to go say those types of things.
“I’m not guessing he’s gonna have his Thanksgiving dinner with us the night before that game.”
On Friday in Fort Worth, Yormark didn’t step back from his comments.
“The only thing I would say about my comment last week is I learned many years ago that you speak to your crowd and you have fun,” Yormark said. “I think college football is all about having fun, and I was having fun. That’s pretty much it.”
According to people familiar with this, the leadership at the respective schools didn’t think much of Yormark’s comments, and put zero stock into the idea that the league is out to “get them.”
His response is a perfectly reasonable answer, in Fort Worth, Waco, Ames, Lawrence, Manhattan, Lubbock, Morgantown, etc.
It’s a perfectly horrible answer in Austin and Norman.