Jul 29, 2021 6:20 PM

Report: Big 12 sends “cease and desist” letter to ESPN

Posted Jul 29, 2021 6:20 PM

By WIBW's Marleah Campbell

(WIBW) - The Big 12 has sent a “cease and desist” letter to ESPN aiming to stop the network from communicating with league members on conference realignment, according to multiple reports.

Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel first reported the news. Max Olson of The Athletic tweeted a copy of the letter Wednesday afternoon.

“It has come to my direct attention that ESPN, the current business partner of the Big 12 Conference, has taken certain actions that are intended to not only harm the Big 12 Conference but to result in financial benefits for ESPN,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby wrote.

“The Big 12 Conference demands that ESPN immediately cease and desist all actions that may harm the Conference and its members and that it not communicate with the Big 12 Conference’s existing Members or any other NCAA Conference regarding the Big 12 Conference’s Members, possible conference realignment, or potential financial incentives or outcomes related to possible conference realignment,” the letter reads.

The Big 12 and ESPN agreed to a media rights deal in 2019 that lasts until 2025.

Texas and Oklahoma formally requested membership to the SEC Tuesday after notifying the Big 12 they would not be renewing that media rights deal on Monday.