Report: Texas, Oklahoma officials meet
Texas and Oklahoma officials met over the weekend amid speculation that the Sooners are considering leaving the Big 12, a person at a conference school with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
Texas President William Powers Jr., athletic director DeLoss Dodds and women's athletic director Chris Plonsky were among a group of Texas officials who went to Oklahoma on Sunday, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the individual isn't authorized to speak publicly about the meeting.
The person also said Oklahoma president David Boren was present at the meeting, which was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman.
Oklahoma officials are reportedly considering leaving the Big 12 after Texas A&M's recent decision to leave the conference with hopes of joining the Southeastern Conference.
In the meeting, Texas expressed its desire to keep the Big 12 together, while OU made it clear it plans to pursue membership in the Pac-12. But according to an OU athletic department source, Sooner officials agreed to wait as Texas works through its next move.
It's OU's preference to go to the Pac-12 with the Longhorns, the source said, and OU is willing to wait for a short period of time while that remains a possibility before acting on its own.
On Sept. 2, Boren said multiple conferences have expressed interest in the Sooners and that he expected a decision possibly this month. That could be a move to the Pac-12 or remaining in a revised Big 12 that could be searching for a team to replace Texas A&M.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has indicated his conference would not be the first to pursue expansion but would monitor the situation nationwide and possibly react to events.
Texas officials have publicly stated their desire to keep the Big 12 intact.
The league was nearly torn apart in 2010 as Nebraska went to the Big Ten and Colorado went to the Pac-12. The Pac-12 also courted Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State but those schools chose to stay in the Big 12.
Since then, Texas has signed a 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN for its new Longhorn Network, a 24-hour showcase for Texas athletics that has caused several Big 12 members to worry it gives the Longhorns too much power and influence, especially in the areas of exposure and recruiting.
The Aggies announced recently that they will leave the Big 12 if possible, only to run into a hurdle as Baylor and other schools declined to waive their right to sue over such a departure. The SEC last week voted to accept the Aggies if the legal headaches can be taken care of.
Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw on Monday said the school had no change in its stance, and that it has not been contacted by SEC to request a change.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said Monday that the 12-member conference has "started to look at schedules for 2012-13" for 13 teams.
"Texas A&M is an outstanding academic institution with an exceptional athletic program, passionate fans and wonderful traditions," he said. "When Texas A&M joins our conference, we don't have immediate plans for a 14th member. We aren't thinking in terms of numbers. We think about the strength of the SEC and the attractiveness of Texas A&M as an institution."
Information from ESPN senior writer Andy Katz, SoonerNation's Jake Trotter and the Associated Press was used in this report.
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