Big 12 sends ESPN cease-and-desist letter over alleged meddling

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby alleged in a cease-and-desist letter that ESPN reached out to at least one of the conference’s member institutions to try to convince it to leave the league.The letter was leaked to media outlets Wednesday in the wake of Texas and Oklahoma formally applying for membership in the Southeastern Conference a day earlier.Bowlsby alleged that the sports media giant “has taken certain actions that are intended to not only harm the Big 12 Conference but to result in financial benefits for ESPN.”Bowlsby wrote, in part, to Burke Magnus, ESPN’s president of programming and original content, “The Big 12 Conference demands that ESPN immediately cease and desist all actions that may harm the Conference and its members and that it not communicate with the Big 12 Conference’s existing Members or any other NCAA Conference regarding the Big 12 Conference’s Members, possible conference realignment, or potential financial incentives or outcomes related to possible conference realignment.”