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Report: Texas support of Houston to Big 12 is tied to recent land deal

Why yes, political machinations were probably the cause of Thursday’s shenanigans.

General view of Texas tower Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Welcome to the state of Texas, the type of place where conspiracy theories come true — as speculation swirled about why high-placed officials from the governor to the University of Texas president to the system chancellor all suddenly voiced support for the Houston Cougars moving to the Big 12, some quickly identified a recent purchase by the Texas system, which a report from the Statesman seemingly confirmed shortly thereafter.

Let’s just call it a quality Texas try.

The people willing to talk on record in the Houston area deflected, though Tilman Fertitta, the architect or at least the mouthpiece behind all this on Cougar side did notably say that Texas hadn’t proposed any such compromise, then noted his opposition to the lack of protocol followed in the purchase.

He wants to talk. About a couple different things.

So it seems reasonable now to say that there is some connection, though it’s not clear how far Texas wants to go with this in selling it to the Big 12, what type of opposition Houston can mount against whatever plans Chancellor Bill McRaven ultimately has for that property, whether it would make a difference in those land plans, and whether the rest of the conference would support the addition of Houston (report: probably not).

Yay, Texas politics!