You can sit there, gussy yourself up a little bit and convince yourself that you’re a terrific fit for the Big 12.
Or you can try outright bribery.
On Feb. 24, Memphis president David Rudd penned a letter to Gee and copied Oklahoma president David Boren and Baylor president Ken Starr, the other two members of the composition committee, as well as former Big 12 board chairman and Kansas State president Kirk Schulz. In the letter, Rudd pledged that Memphis will make a $500 million investment in academic and athletic infrastructure over the next five years. Rudd also enclosed a letter from FedEx chairman Fred Smith, who stated that the delivery services giant headquartered in Memphis will be behind the school’s Big 12 campaign.
“We strongly support the university’s efforts to become a member of an expanded Big 12 athletic conference,” Smith wrote to Rudd in a letter dated Feb. 23. “In support of [Memphis’] Big 12 aspirations, we have researched college conference sponsorships and are prepared to become a major Big 12 sponsor of football and basketball.”
Smith also wrote that FedEx would be prepared to sponsor a Big 12 championship game.
“We believe the University of Memphis and the Big 12 are a great fit and hope our support will contribute to the University of Memphis becoming a member of this storied athletic conference in the near future,” Smith wrote.
Sounds like a match made in heaven.