Earlier this week I suggested that if the Big 12 dissolves and four 16-team power conferences emerge, the case for paying college athletes would get stronger.
As it turns out, that was part of what Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe was concerned about (added emphasis):
"Pressure to compete may rise with resulting higher salaries and more churning of ADs and coaches," he wrote. "Clear identification of the highest level of intercollegiate athletics reduced to a smaller grouping of schools (e.g., four 16-member conferences) could cause eventual tax consequences and tremendous pressure to pay those student-athletes responsible in programs driving the most revenue and pressure, and whose coaches and administrators are receiving more and more financial rewards."
It's still all clearly about money but a 16-team power conference would have been the equivalent of a money bath.