TL:DR: The Big XII told all the candidate schools “thanks... but no thanks!”
Full USF statement here:
TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2016) - Earlier today, the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors decided not to expand conference membership at this time. The University of South Florida will remain a member of the American Athletic Conference.
“On behalf of the entire USF System and Tampa Bay community, I would like to extend our thanks to Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the leadership of the Big 12 Conference for their thoughtful interest in our university and the Tampa Bay region. We also deeply appreciate all the support of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, fans, supporters and local leaders.” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “This process has been extremely positive, giving us the opportunity to showcase our excellence on a national scale: We are a top 25 public research university; our nearly 50,000 students have never been more accomplished. Our athletic program is on a strong trajectory, not only have we led our conference in Learfield Cup standings, but also posting a student-athlete graduation success rate of 86 percent. We have a great story to tell, and this is only the beginning.”
"We are on a path toward greatness at USF, reminding everyone in the Bulls Family why we are proud of who we are, how far we have come and what lies ahead. Our student-athletes, coaches, staff, donors, alumni, fans and community members have propelled our program to profound success in recent years in the American Athletic Conference and I am confident that they will continue to do so in the future. The USF family came together with many in the Tampa community to tell our remarkable story to the world, and we will continue to share it." said USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan.
We’ll have more later. But seriously: this league can go screw. They dragged 20 schools through a dog and pony show, and then didn’t even vote on any of them.
Bowlsby: "It was a highly respectful process." Uh huh— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 17, 2016
Boren on the expansion candidates: "We do very much appreciate their interest." ... Everyone feel better now?— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) October 17, 2016
And then, of course...
Big 12: "We do not consider expansion an active agenda item, but we don't want to say we'd never consider it again"— Matt Brown (@MattSBN) October 17, 2016
What an absolute disaster. This league is going down in flames. And if they weren’t distributing $25 million a year in TV money to each member, USF would be the first to tell them to go to hell.