September 21, 2021

Oklahoma and Texas meet with 12 top officials to discuss departure for SEC

As Big 12 officials sought answers about their exit from Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC, the league clarified Thursday that it expects its key programs to comply with conference files and signed television contracts.

The Big 12 athletic directors and their university presidents and principals held a video conference Thursday evening. Both OU and Texas were invited to the meeting, but refused to attend the invitation, sources said.

In a statement to ESPN, Pig12 said, “There is recognition that companies may act for their own selfish ends, although members are expected to abide by the conference interim and enforce rights agreements.”

Any withdrawing member for the Big 12 files must give the league at least 18 months’ notice. There is also a huge exit fee – departing schools must pay the league a “guaranteed purchase fee” equal to the amount of the distribution, otherwise it will be paid to the school within the final two years of its membership. Between the date of notification and the date of actual departure it shall be deemed to have agreed to confiscate all deliveries of any kind issued to the withdrawing member in the interim.

Last year, Big 12 distributed about $ 38 million to its members, ranking third in the Power 5 conferences, so Texas and Oklahoma would each owe $ 76 million.

It is unclear whether both schools are aware of the consequences, and both have declined to comment beyond reports released Wednesday. One source also discussed the potential for Big 12 to find more revenue for Texas and the OU.

OU and Texas signed a major 12 rights agreement in which they granted first and second tier media rights to football and men’s basketball to the conference until June 30, 2025. That means until the end of the deal that Big 12 still owns – the media rights of the schools for those games – even if they are no longer members.

During Thursday’s meeting, conference officials scratched the surface in discussions of what the Big 12 might do if the OU and Texas leave, and one source said there are other Power 5 projects they would like to join, or if there are schools in UCF, Houston, Cincinnati or PU. .U can make good additions. Even though the OU and Texas decided to stay, there was some hunger in the crowd to add two teams.

None of those conversations, however, received significant traction, because the next stage was to identify the objectives of the OU and Texas – and their motivation.

The next 48 hours will be crucial to respond to that, a source said.

“We need answers soon,” said one source, adding, “We have no answer right now.”

In a statement to ESPN following the meeting, Big 12 said eight members are desperate to retain current members, proving that it can compete at the highest levels.

“This is a time of dramatic transformation within the medieval athletics, presenting both opportunities and challenges, and the Big 12 conference is expected to continue to play a key role in its evolution.”