Report: Oklahoma wants Big 12 reform

Updated: September 21, 2011, 5:37 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

If the University of Oklahoma is to stay in the Big 12, it will do so only if the conference adds regulations on ESPN's Longhorn Network and ousts commissioner Dan Beebe, according to a report in The Oklahoman Tuesday.

The Oklahoman, citing a high-ranking Big 12 official, reported Oklahoma president David Boren said Monday the school would decide between applying for the Pac-12 or staying in the Big 12. The source stressed that reforms would be necessary for Oklahoma to remain in the Big 12.

"It's going to take major, major reforms," the source said. "We'd have to have an interim commissioner."

According to the source, the Big 12 presidents don't believe Beebe handled the departures of Nebraska and Texas A&M adequately. The Big 12 has lost three members in the last 15 months, and, according to the source, "the relationships were so bad (with) the commissioner."

According to the Big 12 bylaws, a majority vote among the member schools is needed to oust the commissioner.

Beebe received an extension through June 2015 from the Big 12 in November 2010. University of Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, chairman of the league's board of directors, said Beebe had been "an outstanding leader" during challenging times.

Beebe received a raise from $661,000 to $997,000 in 2009 before the Big 12's first near breakup.

Oklahoma has also demanded that Texas modify some of its plans for the Longhorn Network. Big 12 members were angered by the network's agreement with Fox Sports to move a conference game to the Longhorn Network and its decision to show high school highlights after the Big 12 voted to keep televised high school games off school-branded networks.

The source told the Oklahoman that a move by Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the Pac-12 wasn't inevitable.

The University of Oklahoma's board of regents and its counterpart at Texas granted their school presidents Monday the authority to take action regarding conference realignment.

The moves clear the way for the Sooners and Longhorns to apply formally to the Pac-12, with whom they have been undergoing discussions in recent days on how to make the schools' addition to the conference work.

After the regents meeting had adjourned, Boren admitted he's had "very warm and constructive discussions" with Pac-12 officials, but wouldn't say when the Sooners might apply for conference membership.

The SEC has informally agreed to add Missouri to the conference and move Auburn to the SEC East, according to a report in the Birmingham News.

The News, citing two sources familiar with the discussions, said a majority of SEC presidents have endorsed the agreement, though a timetable for the move remains unknown. Missouri would become the conference's 14th member, as the SEC already plans to add Texas A&M as the 13th member.

Earlier Tuesday, the Kansas City Star reported that the SEC was going to offer Missouri a spot in the conference, and would wait until the Big 12 dust settled for an answer. The Star cited a Mizzou booster who spoke directly to a school official. Another source told The Star on Tuesday that an Oklahoma official had said the SEC is interested in Missouri, the Star reported.

But the SEC said Tuesday afternoon that the only invitation it had issued was to Texas A&M.

Information from ESPN.com's David Ubben and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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