The Big 12 Conference reprimanded Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville over the weekend. The Big 12 also instructed Tuberville and the university not to comment further on the matter of his comments last week, which it said violated its Principles and Standards of Sportsmanship, which prohibit public criticism of league members.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, in a statement, said Tuberville's comments "were unfortunate, and contrary to the very strong feelings of unity expressed publicly and privately by the Big 12 Board of Directors and athletic directors."
Beebe's statement, stern in tone, hinted that this was a warning.
"In deciding to reprimand Coach Tuberville, I took into account that this is a first-time offense and that he has committed to adhere to the rules and contribute to strengthen the conference," Beebe said. "If not for these factors, a more significant penalty would be assessed, and will be if there are any future violations."
The obligatory wristslap -- Beebe can't let anyone run their mouths about the future of the conference, even if those comments are tame, honest and accurate -- served as a warning and an end to discussion about the viability of the Big 12 moving forward, at least publicly. Tuberville will take his reprimand and probably stop commenting any further on the matter. The rest of us will shrug.
Though Beebe notes Tuberville's status as a first-time offender, I'd bet Tuberville's warning goes for his nine other colleagues, too. Beebe can't allow comments like his to go ignored, or else endless more will follow.
Looming fines probably mean they won't. It's not worth it. And now, discussing the future of the Big 12 will be left to the rest of us.