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ARTICLE: How TCU Got Into The Big 12

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In the article published today by CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, Chris Del Conte and former Texas Athletic Director Deloss Dodds worked out TCU's admission to the Big 12 over drinks in Austin. The next day, the Big 12 voted the Frogs in.

Chris Del Conte convinced Deloss Dodds to let TCU into the Big 12 over five hours of drinks in Austin.
Chris Del Conte convinced Deloss Dodds to let TCU into the Big 12 over five hours of drinks in Austin.
TCU/Dallas Morning News

The article, published this morning, details a wonderful story... And makes me actually kinda like Deloss Dodds...

Del Conte admitted, "the pressure of the entire institution was on my shoulders" to join the Big 12. He worked the phones, calling every Big 12 contact he knew. Support within the Big 12 was growing, including at Oklahoma where good friend Joe Castiglione had been encouraging. But Del Conte knew if he didn't have Texas, he didn't have a chance.

"I've got one shot," he recounted, "to go see DeLoss."

It was a quite a visit. Del Conte grabbed a car, a driver and a bunch of reference material, binders, extolling the advantages of TCU and Fort Worth.

"I get up at 8 o'clock in the morning and drive to Darrell K. Royal Stadium. I get to [Dodds'] office. Nine comes around, 10 comes around. I've got a GA [graduate assistant] outside waiting for me, by the way. I tell him, ‘Just wait 10 minutes I'll be back.' Pretty soon it's 3:30.

"[DeLoss] comes out and says, ‘Who are you?' Chris Del Conte, Texas Christian U. He doesn't hear ‘Chris.' he hears ‘Del'. ‘Del, let's go get ourselves a drink and discuss it.'

"We went to a restaurant and had a little libation at 3:30. By the time 8:30 rolls around, we were [into it] pretty good but we got ourselves in a situation. I kept trying to give him my [binders]. He said, ‘I've heard enough, Del' and just walked away."

The Big 12 ADs had a conference call the next day.

"The next morning I got up. Joe [Castiglione] goes, ‘I don't know what you did but it worked.' We got the vote. The Frogs are in,' Del Conte said.

We always knew it was going to be up to Texas, but it is nice to know that all it took was some drinks at El Arroyo (I am choosing to believe that was the spot) to get it done.

The question remains: Who picked up the tab?