Boys' Jones wants alma mater in Big 12

Updated: June 17, 2010, 1:12 AM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is interested in bringing his alma mater, Arkansas, from the SEC to the Big 12, according to a source.

Jones was a co-captain of the 1964 Arkansas national championship team and remains close to several people in the school's athletic department.

Jones' son, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, told Dallas' KXAS-TV on Wednesday afternoon that Arkansas fits as a natural rival in the Big 12 and that two coaches in the football program told him the percentage of players on the team from the state of Texas has dwindled from 60 to 10.

Cowboys officials could not be reached for comment. Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the school has "no interest" in joining another conference and that the school is happy in the SEC.

Also, The Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World and News reported Wednesday that Jerry Jones would like to bring not only Arkansas to the Big 12 but Notre Dame as well. Citing a source familiar with Jones' thinking, the paper said the Cowboys owner wants to revive the old Southwest Conference rivalries with Texas and Texas A&M.

Arkansas left the Southwest Conference and joined the SEC in 1991.

The Cowboys owner has a financial interest in seeing the Big 12 expand. Cowboys Stadium is scheduled to host the conference's title game through 2013, but with Colorado and Nebraska leaving in the next two seasons, a 10-school Big 12 would not be eligible to hold a championship game for 2013.

Jones has said he wants major events at his $1.2 billion venue.

This week, schools that had invitations to join other conferences -- including Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M -- opted to remain in the Big 12.

"I have such empathy for the athletic directors and the people who are making those decisions. For all of us that are fans that are involved it's quite a challenge. Certainly a time of change," Jones said before the schools decided to keep the Big 12 intact.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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