Governor Greg Abbott speaks before signing his new book 'Broken but Unbowed' as he launches his book tour at the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, Wednesday, May 18, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

BEVO BEAT Football

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Big 12 expansion should include Houston

Posted July 21st, 2016

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a noted Texas Longhorns fan, left no doubt on Thursday where he stood on Big 12 expansion.

“Big 12 expansion is a non-starter unless it includes University of Houston,” Abbott posted on his official Twitter account. He tagged Houston’s official Twitter handle and included a link to an American-Statesman article about conference expansion.

Abbott’s predecessor Rick Perry wasn’t shy about supporting his beloved Texas A&M Aggies. Since taking office, Abbott has supported his Longhorns, too. He’s attended numerous UT basketball games at the Erwin Center and some football games.

Abbott has also developed a Twitter friendship with UT linebacker Malik Jefferson. The two have exchanged public messages of support in the past.

Sources told the American-Statesman on Thursday that UT officials would not block Houston’s bid to join the league, which has begun examining whether to add two or four teams. Eight of the 10 members must vote to approve any new school.

Also, the chairman of the Houston System Board of Regents told the Statesman the Cougars would love to join the Big 12.

“We just want to be part of it,” Tilman Fertitta said. “We’re not the University of Texas. I think the University of Texas is the finest school in the country. Just to be in a conference with the University of Texas, we would feel honored.”

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