Norman, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s the first concrete sign that OU and Texas are on the move – today, the two schools basically told the Big 12 they are leaving when the conference’s current TV deal is done.
We have been hearing about a move by OU and Texas to the SEC for about a week now, but on Monday, it looks like the two schools took the first big step to making that happen.
“I think it will prove that we are good enough to play with the big dogs,” said Megan Tappero.
“I’m kinda sad to hear it, cause I think it means the end of the Big 12 really,” said Jessica Lada, former Pride of Oklahoma band member.
Sooner fans reacting to a joint statement from OU and Texas saying…
“The University of Oklahoma and The University of Texas at Austin notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference today that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025. Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference’s current media rights agreement. The universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements. However, both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future.”
So what does that mean?
One Big 12 school athletic official that didn’t want to go on camera told KFOR that each school grants those TV rights to the conference so that a broader media package can be negotiated.
So this basically means OU and Texas don’t plan to be part of the conference long-term, but they do say they will honor the contract through the 2024-25 football season.
But The Stadium and ESPN report that they could join the SEC earlier if an agreement is worked out.
“Although our eight members are disappointed with the decisions of these two institutions, we recognize that intercollegiate athletics is experiencing rapid change and will most likely look much different in 2025 than it does currently,” Head of the Big 12, Bob Bowlby said. “The Big 12 Conference will continue to support our member institutions’ efforts to graduate student-athletes, and compete for Big 12 and NCAA championships. Like many others, we will use the next four years to fully assess what the landscape will look like in 2025 and beyond. The remaining eight institutions will work together in a collaborative manner to thoughtfully and strategically position the Big 12 Conference for continued success, both athletically and academically, long into the future.”
President Shrum of Oklahoma State University also issuing a statement on Monday.
“Earlier today, OU delivered a document to the Big 12 Conference office which indicated they will not renew their grant of media rights with the Big 12 following the 2024-25 season. This action was strategic, deliberate and results from months of planning with the SEC. These conversations, which developed over a long period, are a clear breach of the Big 12 Conference bylaws and broke the decades-long bond of trust between our universities. It is difficult to understand how an Oklahoma institution of higher education would follow the University of Texas to the detriment of the state of Oklahoma.
Nevertheless, we are looking to the future and what is best for Oklahoma State University. Over the last few days, I have received countless phone calls, texts and emails from high-ranking officials and members of the Cowboy family showing their support for OSU as we navigate the road ahead. Regardless of what comes next, OSU is dedicated to the state of Oklahoma. We remain confident OSU is in the strongest position ever, and I am excited about the future of Oklahoma State University, our land-grant mission, world-class faculty and top-notch athletic programs.”Dr. Kayse Shrum, OSU president
Businesses News 4 talked to on Campus Corner are excited about the move.
“I think with the bigger competitive league that we are moving into, it will have people buying a lot more stuff,“ said Norman Campus Corner businesswoman, Megan Tappero.
They say Sooner fans will be stocking up before they leave town and SEC fans will be spending big bucks in Norman.
“I think it’s going to be great to get some new schools in here… Alabama in Norman, Oklahoma? Wow Wee! That would be incredible,” said Jeff Stewart, owner of O’Connell’s Irish Pub.
That statement from OU and Texas did not say anything specifically about the SEC.