Is UConn to Big 12 expansion a potential move amid Dan Hurley to Lakers rumors? Exploring possible conference realignment moves for Brett Yormark

Purdue v Connecticut
NCAA Tournament: Purdue v Connecticut

Following consecutive national championships, UConn may lose Dan Hurley. The program's coach is generating significant interest from the LA Lakers, which will mark a transition to the NBA for him after a long career in college basketball.

ESPN reported on Thursday that the Lakers are preparing a massive offer to lure Hurley away from UConn. The franchise is seeking to reclaim its championship standard in the NBA, and considering Hurley’s exploits with the Huskies, they consider him a right fit for the job.

Without a doubt, UConn will fight to keep the man who brought its men’s basketball program back on his feet. However, it will have to go head-to-head financially with one of the NBA’s biggest franchises. Could a move to the Big 12 help the Huskies win the tug-of-war for Dan Hurley?

UConn's potential move to the Big 12

One of Brett Yormark's major goals after taking over as the commissioner of the Big 12 is to increase the conference’s basketball appeal. He believes that adding major college basketball powerhouses like UConn and Gonzaga will help fast-track the actualization of this dream.

Yormark reportedly met with the leadership of the Huskies' athletic department last summer, which created rumors of a potential realignment. However, the move did not materialize despite the Big 12 adding four new schools from the Pac-12 to its roster in the same period.

"I did have conversations with UConn and Gonzaga, and unfortunately, things didn't work out, only because the dream scenario unfolded for us, so those conversations are no longer," Yormark said on the "Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast" in August 2023.
"I'm a big admirer of both of those programs. They're fantastic for all the right reasons, but I'm focused on the transition of those four (new schools) right now."

Nonetheless, the door hasn't been closed on a potential addition of both UConn and Gonzaga to the Big 12 and we could see the move become a reality sooner than later.

Can the Big 12 help UConn keep Dan Hurley?

A move to the Big 12 will undoubtedly place UConn in better financial standing than staying in the Big East. The Big 12 boasts a huge media deal that guarantees its members around $30 million annually in media revenue. This would undoubtedly be a huge windfall for the Huskies.

While UConn might not earn as much as the current Big 12 members, the school will get enough to make them financially strong. This could play a major role in ensuring the Huskies offer Dan Hurley an improved contract and keep him away from potential suitors.

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