You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

OSU releases statement amid rumors OU, Texas leaving the Big 12

  • Updated
  • Comments
Football Helmet

On Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle's Brent Zwerneman released a report regarding Oklahoma and Texas reaching out to the SEC to join the conference and leave the Big 12. 

The report cited "a high ranking college official with knowledge of the situation", who claimed an announcement was imminent in the next couple weeks. 

Oklahoma State was not named in the report.

An OU official said the university does not address anonymous rumors. Texas followed in similar fashion releasing a statement which said the school doesn't address rumors or speculation. 

OU and Texas would be a revenue factory for the SEC. According to the U.S. Department of Education's Equity in Athletics Data Analysis, UT has the richest athletics department in the country, with OU's not far behind at No. 6. 

OSU officials released the following statement following the news of the possibility of OU and Texas leaving the Big 12:

“We have heard unconfirmed reports that OU and UT approached Southeastern Conference officials about joining the SEC. We are gathering information and will monitor closely. If true, we would be gravely disappointed.

"While we place a premium on history, loyalty and trust, be assured, we will aggressively defend and advance what is best for Oklahoma State and our strong athletic program, which continues to excel in the Big 12 and nationally.”

A second unnamed source said the move wouldn't happen for another three years, when the Big 12, SEC and College Football Playoff's scheduling ends in 2025. 

The Sooners and Longhorns would require three-fourths of the SEC schools, or 11 of the 14, to vote in favor of the schools joining the conference to be accepted. 

Some SEC schools, like former Big 12 rival Texas A&M, have already voiced displeasure with the news. Ross Bjork, the Aggies athletic director was assertive on his stance when he said he wanted TAMU to be the only Texas school in the SEC. 

"There's a reason why A&M left the Big 12; the way the Big 12 was operating and the governance," Bjork said. "A&M is a flagship university, and with the size and scale of our place, we should have our own stand-alone identity in our own conference." 

It isn't the first time the Longhorns have attempted to leave the conference. UT and A&M considered leaving for the Pac-12 before then-Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe offered higher league payouts to the conference's schools. 

Following the money shows SEC schools received $44.6 million from television rights in 2020, compared to the Big 12 paying $38.3 million. With the SEC's new partnership with ESPN worth $3 billion starting in 2025, those numbers are projected to be substantially higher. 

"As far as specifics, we don't know anything about (potential additions)," Bjork said. "We haven't been briefed on anything." 

sports.ed@ocolly.com