TFW your reputation precedes you

Once again, hell hath no fury like a college president scorned.

Oklahoma State president Kayse Shrum said Monday that Oklahoma’s intentions to explore leaving the Big 12 are “the result of months of planning with the SEC” and a “clear breach” of the conference bylaws.

Shrum made the comments in a statement and in a series of tweets. In the statement, she called Oklahoma’s actions “strategic” and “deliberate.”

“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,” added Shrum, who took over as president on July 1.

The breach claim is in reference to Section 3.2 of the Big 12’s bylaws, which references third parties attempting to induce a member institution to leave. It requires schools to inform the conference no later than 12 hours afterward, and to “immediately and unconditionally reject that offer in a form and manner reasonably acceptable to the Commissioner.”

Oh, honey.  It’s like you forgot how your conference was formed in the first place.

… Then UT’s interests turned to the Big Eight. Texas and Oklahoma’s leaders both looked favorably on the idea of being in the same conference, but both schools had other options. Former Kansas State University president Jon Wefald voiced fears that if UT had joined the Pac-10, there would be no way for the Big Eight to ramp up their TV payouts in order to keep Oklahoma from joining the SEC for more lucrative TV payouts.[16]

Negotiations with Texas and other schools

The Big Eight had been in pursuit of some kind of alliance with the Southwest Conference since Arkansas’s departure destabilized that historic conference.[citation needed]

The Big Eight and SWC members saw the potential financial benefits from an alliance to negotiate television deals, but a true alliance of 16 teams which would retain the seven other SWC schools was not viewed as optimal by UT. Dodds and the Longhorn leadership viewed proposals of this sort as continuing business as usual in the SWC. Arkansas’s departure allowed UT and Texas A&M to clear four or more less profitable dates from their football schedules and eight or more from their basketball schedules.[citation needed]

For years the Big Eight could not interest UT in a merger. Without Texas to ensure the retention of Oklahoma, the Big Eight was not interested.[clarification needed][16]

Reports at the end of 1993 disclosed the discussions of the Big Eight about adding BYU and half of the SWC, with SMU, TCU, Rice and Houston “priced out” of the new conference.[2][17]

The Big Eight began negotiations with ABC and ESPN for a new conference that would feature football powers[citation needed] Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado,[citation needed] and Texas.[citation needed]

Texas politicians

After the SEC announced their intent to leave the CFA, the Big 8 and SWC members re-opened discussions to sell their rights together. In a book called “The Baylor Project” by Barry G. Hankins and Donald D. Schmeltekoff about Baylor’s place in Christian higher education on page 68 states that on February 11, 1994, SWC member schools’ leaders met a few Big 8 leaders in Dallas to discuss potentially selling both leagues’ media content in a package deal. Discussions broke down on February 16, reportedly over UT’s interest in the Pac-10. The Big Eight began negotiating a deal that would include the full SWC as a partner and Texas A&M approached the SEC.[18]

In Texas, word leaked out that UT & Texas A&M were close to leaving the SWC; UT to the Pac-10[18] or Big Eight and eventually Texas A&M to the SEC. Texas state senator David Sibley, a Baylor alumnus and member of the Senate Finance Committee, approached UT Chancellor Bill Cunningham and asked him pointedly whether UT planned to leave the SWC on its own for the Big Eight. Cunningham tried to change the subject. Ultimately he did not deny it.[9]

Sibley approached LT Governor Bob Bullock, a Texas Tech alumnus. Texas state senator John Montford of Lubbock was equally motivated to protect Texas Tech’s path to the Big 12. The trio put together a group of legislators who worked to insure those schools were part of any new sport conference.

Bullock called together a meeting of supportive legislators as well as UT’s and Texas A&M’s leaders on February 20, 1994.[19] UT Chancellor William Cunningham admitted that Texas planned to join the Big Eight[9] and A&M’s leadership still targeted the SEC.[9]

A deal was worked out where all four schools would go together to the Big 12. Baylor and Texas Tech would join the Aggies in coming with UT into the new version of the Big Eight.[9]

… UT officials informed the Big Eight leadership that the Austin school was now receptive to an invitation and the Big Eight issued invitations to Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Texas Tech. All four schools quickly accepted.[18]

The more things change, and all…

By the way, for those of you fretting about how Texas will inevitably sabotage the SEC, you need to consider that UT has plenty on its plate in that regard right now.

Big 12 sources told ESPN on Monday that the statement leaves some “wiggle room” and doesn’t fully guarantee that the flagship schools would remain in the league through 2025. The possibility remains that they will pay the $75 million to $80 million penalty for leaving early, while also giving the required 18 months’ notice, per Big 12 bylaws. Some have speculated that this is the first legal maneuver, and the possibility also exists that if the Big 12 dissolves before 2025, OU and Texas would no longer be bound to stay through the duration of the contract.

Gee, I wonder how that’s gonna work out.


Filed under Big 12 Football

24 responses to “TFW your reputation precedes you

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Add Oklahoma State to the fraternity of lesser schools in states where one program calls the shots: A&M, Auburn, Tech, Oklahoma State . . . who else?
    Boone Pickens’s money can’t cure an inferiority complex.


    • akascuba

      You can add Georgia Tech to your list of lesser schools with an inferiority complex. They’ve worked dam hard in recent years to achieve it. Long may we continue to kick that ass.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Down Island Way

    And ut said “what exit check, that’s just walkin’ around change”….


  3. HirsuteDawg

    aaaand, thats why we teach the young men sportsmanship, honesty, forthrightness, integrity and fairPlay. Tejas gonna fit right in.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. stoopnagle

    They will be here next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • miltondawg

      Personally I think 23 earliest and more likely 24 as the now scrambling remaining Big XII teams start to earnestly finding an acceptable landing spot that isn’t a G5 conference causing the Big XII to dissolve.

      On another note, I am very much looking forward to a Mike Gundy rant similar to “I’m a man, I’m 40” when asked about UT and OU bolting for the SEC and the effect on OSU after a game next season.


  5. Faltering Memory

    The old country dog in the city tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    The Okie State President is right. Texas and OU are both already in breach of contract. Your recital of the facts concerning the formation of the Big 12 while interesting reading is of no import to the question raised by President Shrum because apparently no similar clause existed in the old Big 8 or SWC agreements. And even if it did, the fact that those now defunct conferences took no action does not mean the current Big 12 conference cannot.


  7. otto1980

    It’d be awesome if Texas politics finally did something useful and blocked the move to the SEC.


  8. The clutching of pearls is unseemly…if you’re getting ditched at the alter…save a little face, tell everyone to drop the cummerbunds and throw a kickass formal kegger, and try and nail the highest ranking guest of your now ex-fiancé…go out swinging…#ex’sdirtygilf

    Liked by 1 person

  9. godawgs1701

    Let’s hook President Schrum up to a polygraph and ask her if Oklahoma State University has had any overtures from any other conferences or explored any options 12 hours or more ago since the OU and UT news broke. After all, the departure of Oklahoma State would further destabilize the conference and lead to its dissolution as well, so I’m sure she’d make sure the school reported any such discussions and also refused them. Give me a break, I agree that it sucks that Texas is leaving you high and dry but if Texas had come to OK State and asked them to come along instead of OU, then OK State would have been the school quietly making a deal for the past year.


  10. 69Dawg

    The real head scratcher to me was the UT-OK package deal. Why would the world’s second most full of themselves school (BAMA is first of course) GAS about their hated rival? Did the SEC (ESPN’s football conference) tell them we needed a BOGO to keep the division even? It is indeed interesting times.


  11. Ran A

    SEC didn’t reach out to Oklahoma. Oklahoma reached out to the SEC. That seems to be getting lost in all of this. They chose to explore the SEC, not the other way around.


  12. sirjackshea1980

    “Shrum made the comments in a statement and in a series of tweets. In the statement, she called Oklahoma’s actions “strategic” and “deliberate.” Since when did strategic and deliberate come into the common lexicon used by any college doing anything about anything? Frankly, Scarlett, I find this a compliment.


    • trbodawg

      I too had a “huh?” moment. When did “Strategic and deliberate” come to have a negative connotation?