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Oklahoma, Texas inform Big 12 they won't extend grant of rights deal; conference releases statement

Oklahoma, Texas inform Big 12 they won't extend grant of rights deal; conference releases statement

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Oklahoma and Texas have signaled that they are headed to the SEC.

The two schools announced in a joint statement Monday morning that they will not extend their grant of rights agreements with the Big 12, which expire in 2025.

On Sunday, University of Oklahoma President Joseph Harroz and University of Texas President Jay Hartzell met with the Big 12 Executive Committee to discuss the future of the conference. Horns 247, one of the team sites in the 274Sports online network, reported afterward that the meeting didn’t change the schools’ intent to inform the conference of their departure Monday.

“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 joint statement says. “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.”

Based on the active agreement, OU and Texas would owe the Big 12 as much as $80 million if they left the conference before June 2025. Big 12 bylaws stipulate that schools leaving the conference must provide at least 18 months’ notice. The Big 12 released a statement on Monday afternoon confirming its receipt of the notice.

“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,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a release. “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.”

Following the conference’s statement, Oklahoma State University President Kayse Shrum weighed in on the situation.

“We believe these conversations, which developed over a long period of time, are in clear breach of the bylaws of the Big 12 Conference and broke a bond of trust between our universities in existence for decades,” Shrum tweeted Monday afternoon.

“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 turning our eyes to the future and looking at what is best for Oklahoma State University.”

Conference realignment talks first surfaced last Wednesday when the Houston Chronicle reported that the Sooners and Longhorns had approached the SEC about membership. Representatives from OU and Texas reportedly were absent from a meeting of Big 12 athletic directors and CEOs regarding the situation on Thursday.

According to CBS Sports, increasing OU and Texas’ revenue shares to keep them in the conference was discussed during Thursday’s meeting. Currently, Big 12 schools average $37 million yearly in television revenue earnings. In 2020, OU garnered $34.5 million.

Under a new agreement, OU and Texas would receive an extra half revenue share annually, upping their yearly earnings to approximately $56 million. Other Big 12 schools would be expected to decrease their earnings accordingly. However, a move to the SEC would net the Sooners $60 million annually.

According to a report from the Austin American-Statesman, the SEC hopes to vote to offer invitations to OU and Texas within the coming days. To receive invitations, the Sooners and Longhorns would need 75% of the current SEC teams to vote in their favor.

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