Big 12

Big 12 school mascots taking a photo at the Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium in Dallas last week STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Will there ever be a time the Big 12 Conference gets out of its own way?

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spent last Monday morning peeling off reasons his league has never been more robust. OU’s College Football Playoff appearance... Texas Tech’s Final Four run... Baylor’s women’s basketball championship... The $38.8 million per-school distribution last fiscal year.

Not bad.

So Big 12 officials coordinator Greg Burks opened Tuesday’s Media Days proceedings, took any momentum Bowlsby was able to generate... and ran it straight into the AT&T Stadium ground.

It happened with a simple question: “What is your stance on Horns Down? Is that an unsportsmanlike penalty? Should that at any time be a penalty?”

The Big 12 has had eight months to clarify its stance of Texas opponents flashing “Horns Down” to either taunt or celebrate. Eight months to clean up the mess it made in nearly undercutting the Big 12 Championship rematch between the Sooners and Longhorns last Dec. 1. Eight months to find an authoritative voice, one way or another, on the gesture and the ramifications of flashing it.

“Somehow I knew I was going to get that question today,” Burks began.

Here we go...

“The answer I will give you is...”


“... It depends.”

What followed was a little more nuance to Burks’ answer — Bill Haisten covered it in Wednesday’s Tulsa World if you want to rewind — but none of us heard that because we were too busy banging our heads against our keyboards.

“It depends.”

The Big 12’s 2019 slogan right there.

Guerin Emig


Twitter: @GuerinEmig

Sports Columnist

Proud father of Gretchen and Holden. Devoted husband to Christy, who has been my best friend since biology class at Booker T. Washington. I covered the Oklahoma Sooners for 15 years. That was both challenging and rewarding. Now I get to write columns.