If you can’t get anyone in the Big 12 to listen, there’s only one place left to go.
President Bill Clinton’s nemesis Kenneth Starr, now president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, is on Capitol Hill today lobbying more than two dozen members of Congress about the preservation of college sports’ floundering Big 12 athletic conference, among other education issues.
A lobbyist familiar with Starr’s visit, which began Wednesday and ends today, tells PI that the push is about Starr “really trying to convey that you have to have the student athletes’ interests at heart first before chasing after the biggest contractual agreements” with television networks. Baylor could stand to lose significant money if the Big 12 broke up, with its marquee, cash-generating schools — Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa State among others — scattering elsewhere. The quality and profile of competition for the conference’s smaller schools would also likely suffer with a Big 12 breakup.
Sure, that’s transparent nonsense on its face. This ain’t about student-athletes; it’s about Baylor’s bank account.
But that’s not the best part of this. The real irony is watching Starr run to the same place, and likely some of the same people – “Among the lawmakers Starr personally met with were many members of the Texas congressional delegation, as well as Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.).” – that was and who were just a few short months ago holding hearings and leveling threats about the anti-competitive behavior of schools in the Big Six conferences. Except now, he’s asking these fine public servants for protection from behavior that’s the polar opposite of anti-competitive.
You know what would be perfect? A Joe Barton quote in support of Starr.
Scratch deeply enough and everyone’s a socialist.