Big 12 preparing to make massive inroads to compete financially with SEC and Big Ten through private equity firm

West Virginia v Kansas State
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The Big 12 is preparing to partner with CVC Capital Partners, a Luxembourg-based private equity firm, to compete financially with the SEC and Big Ten and combat college athletics' increasing shift to a "Power 2 + the rest" conference model.

"Big 12 members are considering a first-of-its kind private equity investment to ensure the league's long-term financial and competitive security, multiple sources tell CBS Sports," CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd wrote. "On the table is a possible cash infusion of $800 million to $1 billion from Luxembourg-based CVC Capital Partners in exchange for a 15% to 20% stake in the league, those sources said. A portion of the money would go directly to the 16 conference members, and the partnership would give the conference access to CVC's investment services and clients."

It's not a done deal, though. As Dodd reports, several presidents will need to be convinced, even with major potential payouts coming their way.

Big 12 being involved with private equity firm proof of the corporatization of college football

A European company buying ownership into the Big 12 is the most corporatization college football has ever seen -- and we're talking about a sport that has sold the rights to all of its bowl games to corporations.

It's an uncomfortable thing to hear, since businesses bought by private equity firms are far more likely to go bankrupt than companies that aren't. The Big 12 was already on shaky legs before the latest round of realignment with Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and ASU, and this could be something that finishes the job down the line.

On the other hand, the short-term boost to the Big 12's 16 programs could set the conference up for more long-term success if the next few years could yield any deep runs in the College Football Playoff.

All in all, the news is unsettling, but nothing is settled anyway. Once we see the practical effects of private equity on college football, we can judge accordingly.