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UCF touts growth, popularity in case to join Big 12

UCF touts growth, popularity in case to join Big 12
Published On: Tue, Jun 07
Sep 21, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Case McCoy (6) prepares to take the snap from center Dominic Espinosa (55) against the Kansas State Wildcats during the fourth quarter of a football game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The Longhorns won 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Not long before the Big 12 presidents met in Irving, Texas to discuss expansion, University of Central Florida president John Hitt made the case for UCF to join the Big 12 in a letter to Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis.

In the letter dated May 17, which ESPN.com obtained, Hitt touted the growth of the Orlando, Florida, market and UCF's popularity with high school students.

He also claimed that UCF could expand its 45,000-set Bright House Networks Stadium to 65,000 if it were invited to the Big 12.

"UCF's athletic profile fits well with the Big 12," Hitt wrote.

With the letter, Hill also included a report the school commissioned to compare the candidacy of UCF to fellow Big 12 expansion candidates UConn and Cincinnati.

The report, conducted by a Tallahassee, Florida-based economic analysis firm and titled "University of Central Florida in the Big 12," claimed that Orlando's population growth is expected to be six times greater than Cincinnati's and 500 times greater than the region of Hartford, Connecticut, over the next 10 years.

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