For Pete's Sake

Houston’s board of regents chairman wants school to blackmail its way into the Big 12

Houston wide receiver Deontay Greenberry celebrates after a catch in the end zone for a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter against Pittsburgh in the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2, 2015. Houston rallied to win, 35-34.
Houston wide receiver Deontay Greenberry celebrates after a catch in the end zone for a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter against Pittsburgh in the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2, 2015. Houston rallied to win, 35-34. Tribune News Service

You’ve no doubt noticed that the Big 12 Conference actually has just 10 teams.

There hasn’t been a great clamoring for the conference to add two schools, except in Texas, which is the second-biggest state in the United States.

According to a story in the Houston Chronicle, the chairman of the University of Houston’s Board of Regents wants the Texas state legislature to pressure the Big 12 into inviting Houston to join.

Tilman Fertitta believes the Texas legislature should threaten to pull funding for the state schools if Houston is not invited.

I am not making that up.

“Be a big boy, step up and put this school that has almost 50,000 students and is so high profile, has so many of the top schools in the United States, it’s a tier one university — we belong in the Big 12,” Fertitta told the Chronicle. “We’re a big, major school with an unbelievable history in athletics and academia.”

Unbelievable history in athletics?

Well, the Cougars did win play in three Cotton Bowls in a four-year span in the late 1970s-early 1980s. And, Houston did beat Pittsburgh in stunning fashion in the Armed Force Bowl last month.

Yeah, the Armed Forces Bowl.

The Cougars’ Phi Slamma Jamma days were huge, too, in the 1980s.

But unbelievable might be a stretch.

And there doesn’t seem to be a groundswell of support for Houston in the Big 12.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @pgrathoff.

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