The Big 12 spoke to Oklahoma and Texas for the first time since reports emerged that the two schools were eyeing a move to the SEC, the conference said Sunday.
The conference said in a Sunday evening statement that two members of its board of directors and commissioner Bob Bowlsby met with Oklahoma president Joe Harroz and Texas president Jay Hartzell. The Big 12 didn’t reveal any details from the meeting, though it signaled a willingness to change the conference’s structure in a “mutually beneficial” way for Texas and Oklahoma and the eight other schools in the conference.
“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,” Bowlsby said in the conference’s statement. “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.”
The eight other schools — Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, and West Virginia — met late last week after word came out the two teams could move conferences. On Saturday, CBS Sports reported the Big 12 could be willing to give OU and UT more revenue.
Oklahoma and Texas’ departure could shatter the Big 12 with no other anchor program left among the eight teams remaining in the conference. The Big 12’s current grant of rights agreement with all 10 teams runs through 2025 and both OU and UT would have to buy out those rights to switch conferences before the agreement is over.
Big 12 revenue per school trails that of the Big Ten and SEC. And it’s clear that the programs are eyeing a significant revenue increase with a conference switch even after any potential buyout is factored in.
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel detailed the biggest questions facing college football — and college sports as a whole — on Friday if OU and UT leave the Big 12.
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