THE BIG CONVERSATION:
Details of this week's college football kerfuffle-that-wasn't became a little clearer as the dust began to settle Tuesday.
University of Texas President William Powers Jr. announced at a press conference that UT would be making a "long-term, unequivocal committment" to the Big 12 Conference. The annoucement came after news surfaced Monday night that the Big 12 — after enticing possible defectors Texas and Texas A&M with a generous TV deal — would live on in a 10-team arrangement.
More specifics of that deal surfaced Tuesday: Big 12 schools, league officials said, would now receive $35 million in penalties from Nebraska and Colorado, the two teams whose previously announced departures originally sent the league into scramble mode. Additionally, revenue originally doled out to 12 teams would now be divided between the 10.
And while the surprise of Monday's news — the Big 12 appeared to be dead as recently as the weekend — began to wear off and heads began to cool, fissures between teams that developed amid the politicking also saw light. "Missouri was criticized as being a malcontent. The University of Texas an overlord. Texas A&M dazed and confused. Baylor expendable. Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State forgotten," so says the Austin American-Statesman.
The news nixed the need for a House Higher Education Commiteee meeting on Wednesday set to address the disintegration of the Big 12 and its political implications. But with no hearing, as the Tribune's Reeve Hamilton notes, some smaller, non-Big 12 Texas schools that were expected to attend the meeting — and are likely eyeing the slimmer league — may have been left in the dark.
- Texas politicos — some cheering, others jeering — sounded off after President Obama's address to the nation on Tuesday night. Texas on the Potomac has the rundown.
- Still accusing opponent Bill White of profiteering from Hurricane Rita recovery efforts during his tenure as Houston mayor, Gov. Rick Perry's campaign, led by spokesman Mark Miner, held a press conference Tuesday outside of White's Austin headquarters. Miner and his prop turbine, though, might have been upstaged by, yes, a man in a chicken suit. The Trib's Elise Hu was there to witness it all.
- In the increasingly bitter battle between the Environmental Protection Agency at the state of Texas, the EPA announced Tuesday that it would be taking over regulation responsibilities for two more Texas facilities. But as the Trib's Elizabeth Titus notes, the next fight between the two foes may already be under way.
"I can understand why these people are very angry — they are supporting a man who was profiting off of business during Hurricane Rita." — Perry spokesman Mark Miner, shouting over the 100 or so rowdy White supporters who had assembled outside the Democrat's Austin headquarters
Data App: Texas Population Estimates — The Texas Tribune
Partners' benefits issue on November ballot in El Paso — El Paso Times
Tech right back where it started — Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Steve Munisteri: The TT Interview — The Texas Tribune
Powell executed for 1978 slaying of police officer — Austin American-Statesman