OU to not renew media rights to Big 12 Conference after 2025

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Following rumors about a shakeup in the Big 12 Conference, the University of Oklahoma says it will not renew its grant of media rights to the conference after 2025.

Last week, rumors began swirling that the University of Oklahoma and University of Texas are looking at options to join the powerful Southeastern Conference.

After hearing of the reports, the University of Oklahoma released a statement saying, “The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don’t address every anonymous rumor.”

OU football

On Sunday, the Big 12 Conference’s Executive Committee met with Oklahoma officials about the university’s future.

“The meeting was cordial, and the Executive Committee expressed a willingness to discuss proposals that would strengthen the Conference and be mutually beneficial to OU and UT, as well as the other member institutions of the Conference,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated. “I expect that we will continue our conversations in the days ahead and we look forward to discussing thoughts, ideas and concepts that may be of shared interest and impact.”

One day later, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin released a joint statement regarding media rights and the Big 12 Conference.

“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.”

Joint Statement from the University of Oklahoma and University of Texas at Austin

Officials with the Big 12 Conference released the following statement:

“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. 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.”

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby

Oklahoma State University submitted this statement in reaction to the canceled contract.

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

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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