Does Baylor really think that everyone believes what “”they” are saying? I mean, Baylor claims that in the middle of the “A&M to the SEC” discussion, all that Baylor really cares about is academics and remaining committed to the Big 12 Conference.
It is abundently clear that if A&M goes to the SEC, the Big 12 Conference becomes that much more unstable. In the long run, the Big 12 may survive with only nine teams, but until it does, all of the small schools in the Big 12 (like Baylor) will standing on pins-and-needles, waiting to find out.
The Big 12 (without A&M) will put teams, like the Longhorns (and maybe the Sooners), in the position of deciding what they want to do as individual universities. The Longhorns obviously have the ability to keep the Big 12 together, as well as the ability to strike-out on their own (and move to another conference).
However, if the Big 12 falls apart, schools like Baylor will be left out in the cold trying to find a conference that will see some value in allowing them to join (which is not very likely). At best, Baylor will find a Non-AQ BCS conference to join, like Conference USA (if C-USA will have them), however, it is highly doubtful that Baylor will jump to another BCS Automatic Qualifying Conference IF they are left on their own. Sure, if they can attach themselves to the Longhorns hip, they can follow along with them (like they did when the Southwest Conference broke up after 1995). But, again, that is entirely dependent on the Longhorns allowing them to “tag-along.”
Well, actually, in 1995, when the Aggies and Longhorns headed for the Big 12, the orignial plan was for just the two of them to join the Big 8. However, the Texas Governor at the time was Anne Richards (a Baylor graduate) and the Lt. Governor was Bob Bullock (Texas Tech under-graduate and JD from Baylor). Thanks to their help, the State essentially forced the Longhorns and Aggies to take Baylor with them (as well as Texas Tech) to the Big 8, and form the Big 12!
In early 1994, the house of cards fell. The Southeastern Conference, which had added South Carolina along with Arkansas when Texas and Texas A&M chose not to leave the SWC, signed a five-year, $85 million contract with CBS. The network also signed one with the Big East for $50 million, effectively ending the CFA. The final crisis was at hand.
In the space of less than two months, the league which had begun as the Southwest Athletic Conference in 1915 was dismantled. Television negotiations pairing the Big 8 and SWC were virtually an afterthought for the networks, who were after new material. They found it when the Big 8 agreed to a reorganization that included Texas and Texas A&M, and-with significant encouragement from Gov. Anne Richards and Lt. Governor Bob Bullock-their respective alma maters of Baylor and Texas Tech.
Left behind were TCU, SMU, Rice, and Houston.
So, what about TCU, SMU, Rice, and Houston? What about those Texas Schools? What about the commitment to the SWC and in-state rivalries?? Well, at the time, Baylor didn’t care about academics and/or athletics, and they were only concerned with ”not getting left behind!” They headed to the Big 12, leaving other behind, and never said a word about it.
Why do I bring this up? Well, on August 17, 2011; this article appeared in USA Today from current Baylor President Ken Starr. President Starr’s article is essentially about how conference members should remain loyal to the Big 12 conference and work out their differences. He also goes on to talk about what is best for the State of Texas, etc. etc.
What President Starr is really talking about is that Baylor is once again scared to death and doesnt want to get left behind if A&M leaves for the SEC! As I said earlier, once A&M is gone, Baylor is essentially dependent on the Longhorns and whether they decide to keep the Big 12 together, or kill it off for good.
If they get left behind, Baylor will find itself in a conference that is not as “academic” or “athletically” attractive as the Big 12 once was. They will also find that this new conference doenst demand the same TV contract money that the Big 12 did. So, in essence, regardless of what Baylor says in print, what they are really saying is “this IS about money, athletics, and more.”
I think I could respect Baylor a little more if they just came out and said, “Look, we have to do what is best for Baylor, and that is …..!?”
However, that is not what Baylor is doing. They are instead hiding behind a mask of “unity” while actually trying to scuttle another school’s plans.
I guess they figured that if they said “it was about Baylor” that no one would care (so they made it about the State of Texas). Now that I think about it, they were right! No one would care if it was about Baylor.
However, as I write this, Baylor’s website has a logo posted that announces that Baylor is “Committed to the Big 12!”
Of course the question remains, are they committed to the Big 12, or are they “trapped!?”
But, just when you thought Baylor’s plea couldn’t get any more pathetic, here comes another former-Texas Governor to their rescue. Former Gov. Mark White was quoted in many Texas news papers saying A&M’s move to the SEC would be a “permanent mistake!”
Gov. White went on saying:
“They [A&M] don’t have to act childlike and run off somewhere… A&M has a responsibility to taxpayers in this state. If you can show me where the state of Texas wins on this deal, I’d like to see it. I thought we’d put this to bed for 10 or 15 years [last summer].”
Poor Gov. White; he apparently has no idea what is going on! Yes, A&M does have a responsibility to both Taxpayers, as well as students, alumni, etc. They have a responsibility to do whats best for Texas A&M, and not necessarily what is best for the State of Texas.
As for putting this to bed 15 years ago when the Big 12 started; well, that is what Baylor has always hoped the formation of the Big 12 meant. They were lucky when they went from the SWC to the Big 12, and they knew they didnt want to have to deal with that again. However, if he really thought this was put to bed, he apparently hasn’t paid attention to anything since then.
Oh well, I can’t really expect him to be in touch with reality when President Starr is just as uninformed. In Starr’s column he wrote about how some “storied rivalries” are at stake! I am not sure what A&M has to do with that. After all, A&M has only one rivalry game a year, and that is with the Longhorns. The Aggies have made it clear that they intend on keeping that game on the schedule regardless of what conference they are in (while the Longhorns are the ones that have said they are not sure if they will want to continue the rivalry) (See also). Also, the last time I checked, Baylor doesnt have a historic rival!? They also didn’t care about leaving SMU, TCU, UH, and Rice behind in the dust when they split for the Big 12; so I am not sure why its such a big issue this time.
Baylor’s Last Stand!
In what appears to be a last-ditch-effort, Baylor has apparently commissioned a group of “scholars” or “economists” to put together an economic impact study (in pdf) that would show how much A&M’s move to the SEC would hurt the State of Texas.
The only problem with the report is that is was essentially thrown together over-night and the authors have pretty much zero credibility.
For starters, the staff of the “Perryman Group” (who created the study) is composed of six “senior staff” members. Of these six, four of them are Baylor graduates while three of them are graduates of the Univ. of Texas.
Now, of all the firms in the country that are capable of doing such a study, why would Baylor get this firm to do it? I will let you answer that question yourself, as I am sure it has something to do with where the employees graduated from school.
For those who believe he is purely unbiased, check this out:
For example, in 2008, Texans for Lawsuit Reform released a “study” that it paid for, supported by no documentation whatsoever, by Ray Perryman that “shows lawsuit reforms enacted in Texas beginning in 1995 have resulted in $112.5 billion in annual spending in Texas. 499,000 new, permanent jobs and a $2.6 billion increase in state tax revenue giving Texas a resounding competitive advantage in these challenging economic times.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Perryman may be skilled at self-promotion, but little else.
Here’s what others said about him: “’He’s the most bought economist in Texas,’ says Austin City Council Member Brigid Shea, with whom he butted heads when he testified against proposed environmental regulations there. ‘He will produce any conclusion you want,’ [and] ‘He’s got all these computer models he can never explain,’ says Austin lawyer Bill Bunch, …. ‘It’s just this black box. Hocus-pocus,’ [and] ‘Go to an American Economics Association meeting and ask who Ray Perryman is. Nobody will have ever heard of him,’ says Thomas Saving, chairman of the economics department at Texas A&M. The president of the AEA, the major trade group for academic economics, has never heard of Dr. Perryman, a spokeswoman says. Laura Johannes, Economist Ray Perryman Is Hailed As a Genius — for Self Promotion. Wall Street Journal, May 10, 1995.
Center for Justice & Democracy, Statement of Joanne Doroshow, Executive Director, Center for Justice & Democracy, Before the House Committee on the Judiciary, FN 2 & 3 (Jan. 20, 2011) http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/Doroshow01202011.pdf
And, for those who may still not yet be convinced:
Internationally acclaimed economist Ray Perryman, once named the “outstanding young person in the world in the field of economics and business,” is being sued for reportedly defaulting on $248,000 worth of credit card debt.
HSBC Bank Nevada is seeking to recover $248,084.91, plus interest, in a lawsuit against Perryman, filed Monday in Waco’s 414th State District Court.
The lawsuit alleges Perryman breached a contract by defaulting on his obligation to make monthly payments on the credit card amount. The lawsuit alleges the card has been canceled.
Perryman, president and CEO of The Perryman Group, an economic research and analysis firm based in Waco, said Tuesday he was unaware of the lawsuit and declined to discuss it or his personal finances.
Seung W. Chae, a lawyer from the Dallas law firm Rausch, Strum, Israel, Enerson & Hornik, did not return a phone message seeking comment on the suit filed by his firm. Harmony Cowley, a legal assistant with the firm, said no one would comment on the suit without first seeking permission from Perryman to discuss his personal finances, despite the public nature of the lawsuit.
Perryman is an annual speaker at Baylor University’s Economic Forecast Luncheon, giving his perspectives on what the national and state economies will look like over the next few years. The next forecast luncheon is set for Thursday at the Galloway Suite at Floyd Casey Stadium. Perryman and Baylor economist Tom Kelly are scheduled to speak.
Perryman holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Baylor, a doctorate in economics from Rice and an honorary doctorate from the International Institute for Advance Studies.
He has taught economics at Baylor and has served as economist-in-residence at Baylor and Southern Methodist University.
He has served as president of the Southwestern Economic Association and the Southwestern Society of Economists. He is a senior research fellow of the IC-squared Institute at the University of Texas.
He has written more than 2,000 trade articles, publishes a subscription economic forecasting service
and a monthly newsletter and writes a syndicated newspaper column.
Perryman also hosts a daily radio commentary and appears regularly on
National Public Radio.
However, without going further on how lacking Dr. Perryman’s credibility is, or on how uncredible his economic impact report is, I should really just point you to this article at BusinessOfCollegeSports.com. Kristi Dosh does a great job disecting his report, and there is no need for me to attempt and re-create what she has already done.
Well…thats it for now. If you are one of the few that still believes what Baylor is selling, then more power too you (I guess). However, for the rest of us, this has to be one of Baylor’s most pathetic (and most interesting) attempts at being one of the “big boys,” yet.
Aug. 26, 2011
Found this today. It is a response to Ken Starr’s column and I wanted to post it here for you to read.