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Big 12, Pac-12 commissioners reportedly will be meeting Tuesday

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Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby addresses attendees during Big 12 media day on Monday, July 18, 2016.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby addresses attendees during Big 12 media day on Monday, July 18, 2016, in Dallas. The Athletic reported that Bowlsby and new Pac-12 Conference Commissioner George Kliavkoff will meet Tuesday.

Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press

In the latest potentially significant news item as it relates to what seems like inevitable conference realignment in college sports, The Athletic’s Max Olson reported that Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and new Pac-12 Conference Commissioner George Kliavkoff will meet Tuesday.

According to Olson, “Their meeting is expected to be a key first step in talks about whether the two conferences would benefit from strategically working together during college sports’ new phase of realignment.”

That could mean something smaller like a scheduling alliance, or something as big as a conference merger, Olson reported.

Stadium’s Brett McMurphy confirmed the report a short time later.

The Texas State Senate held a hearing Monday to discuss the future of college sports in the state as its flagship university, along with Oklahoma, has applied to leave the Big 12 for the SEC.

Bowlsby spoke at the hearing, and according to Olson, said, “I think there are options for us to partner with other conferences. There may be opportunity for mergers. There may be opportunities to add members. There may be other opportunities that are currently unforeseen.”

Still, some cautioned that the meeting could just be the beginning of the two commissioners getting to know one another after Kliavkoff assumed his role on July 1.

“Another Big 12 source expects the Bowlsby-Kliavkoff meeting to be more of an ‘information download’ for the Pac-12’s new commissioner to gain a better sense of what the Big 12’s eight remaining members can bring to the table,” Olson wrote.