Sen. Roger Marshall Wants DOJ To Investigate ESPN’s Role In SEC-Big XII Shakeup

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Joining Big XII Commissioner Bob Bowlsby in unraveling the process that led Oklahoma and Texas to depart from the conference, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) has called on the DOJ to investigate ESPN’s role in advancing talks of their transition to the SEC. ESPN has denied playing a role in the college football shakeup.

Reported by John Ourand from Sports Business Journal, details emerged regarding the Senator’s outreach to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding that the DOJ open a case looking into the seismic shakeup that puts the Big XII’s future in peril.

Sen. Marshall announced via letter: “I write today to ask that the DOJ investigate ESPN’s role in the potential destruction of the Big 12…and if any anti-competitive or illegal behavior occurred relating to manipulating the conference change or ESPN’s contractual television rights.”

Included in the letter is the projected loss in annual revenue that other Big XII programs, such as University of Kansas and Kansas State, will now endure because of OU and UT’s switch to the SEC. The reported losses were cited at “over $250 million.”

Announced July 28, Big XII Commissioner Bob Bowlsby sent a cease and desist letter to ESPN, accusing the network of aiding OU-UT’s decision alongside the AAC. ESPN secured the television rights to SEC games, thus spawning a massive incentive to move Oklahoma and Texas to a 16-team super conference, as Bowlsby claims.

The sports network strongly shot down the allegations, considering them to be entirely “without merit.”

Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.


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  1. ESPN has been pulling all the strings connected with this episode. They write the checks, so they feel they can dictate who does what and who goes where. They would also like to get out of all the money they will owe the BIGXII over the next 4 years, and get their newly bagged properties (OUT) all scheduled up with the SEC as soon as possible without financial penalty.

    Oh, and SEC, the UT people are weasels. Just thought you’d like to know who you’ve invited to your orgy…

  2. I am not a big ESPN fan, but what did they do aside from agreeing to a smart contract with the SEC? Sounds a lot like sour grapes posturing to me. Kansas can go move to the big ten to play basketball and KSU doesn’t seem to play football except when Bill Snyder is coach.

    So what if UT people are weasels? They can get their ass kicked just as well as Vandy does.

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