Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Kim Mulkey on the Big 12 and conference realignment

Published on October 19, 2011

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Baylor coach Kim Mulkey

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — During today’s women’s basketball Big 12 Media Day the subject of conference realignment dominated much of the press conferences and chatter among coaches and the media in the morning session. Nebraska now competes in the Big Ten and Colorado moved to the Pac-12. Texas A&M will become a part of the Southeastern Conference next year and there are talks that Missouri may join the the SEC as well.

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey was the first coach to face the media this morning. As expected, she did not hold back in expressing her opinions on the issue of teams departing for other conferences when answering questions first from Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News and then other reporters during one-on-one sessions.

Q: Obviously realignment had focused a lot on some of the traditional football rivalries, but you look at yourselves and A&M have built a great women’s basketball rivalry. Any thought about continuing that rivalry past this year, any discussions on that?

Mulkey: Why did I know that somebody was going to ask that? I put a lot of thought into it, because I figured it would be asked. And I’m going to answer it thoughtfully, with a little humor, but I hope you get my message.

I remember Texas A&M’s president with these quotes: It’s like a marriage. If it’s over, it’s over. Loftin, didn’t he say that? And he went on to say: Should we feel we’re being kept against our will which we feel was inappropriate. It’s very disappointing. These are his words.

Who wants to be in a relationship that’s over and has no value for you? And that stuck with me. So basically he’s talking about a divorce. And I think I know a little bit about a divorce.

And my feeling is this: If a man wants to divorce me and says our relationship has no value to him, and then he asks me if he can sleep with me, the answer is: No!

Q:  If I could sort of follow up on that a little bit, though. The whole realignment carousel, mess, whatever you want to call it, potentially could have left you guys outside of BCS conference. It didn’t happen. But this past summer and last summer, while you were watching all this go on, were you worried about where Baylor was going to end up in terms of conference affiliation and how that would impact your program and the state of women’s basketball?

Mulkey: I think we’re all worried about it. Not just Baylor. We would not have been the only school left out. Basketball, in particular, is not worrisome to me. I was at Louisiana Tech as an independent for years and we won national championships.

I think in basketball, you’re going to always be protected somewhat because you’re going to have a tournament. You’re going to be one of the 64 selected if you’re good.

I was concerned for our university in football, because you don’t ever want to take away an opportunity for a Robert Griffin or a team that could be a surprise team to have a chance to be a national champion some day.

So maybe my sport, not concerned. My university, concerned for football.

Let me finish my thing. And you can follow up on this. I think since 1974 we’ve played Texas A&M twice a year every year. In fact, in the history of Lady Bear basketball, that’s the program we’ve played more than any.

And we’re not going to play them anymore, because they decided that playing us was not important to them.


 

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