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  1. The groundswell of support for the University of Houston’s bid to join the Big 12 Conference seemed to come out of nowhere. For two decades, the Cougars' major athletic conference dreams seemed hopeless. Then on July 21, Gov. Greg Abbott declared on Twitter that Big 12 expansion was a “non-starter” without UH. Within hours, more state politicians, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and leaders of other Texas Big 12 schools were voicing their support, too. Suddenly, the idea of UH rejoining the highest possible level of college athletics didn’t seem so far-fetched. The show of support for UH was surprising and impressive. But it didn’t materialize from nothing. The university's most powerful supporters have urged state leaders to back their bid for months. Aware that college sports and politics are inextricably linked in Texas, university boosters have used friendly political allies, face-to-face lobbying and campaign contributions to make their case. It seems to be working. Read More University of Houston Pours Millions into Athletics An invitation to join the Big 12 is far from a sure thing — the conference could still choose not to expand or to pass over UH for other teams. But UH is being hyped lately as a leading contender, and it appears to be in its best position for a major conference spot since the 1990s. read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2016/08/10/inside-university-houstons-political-push-join-big/
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