Oklahoma president hoping for Big 12 expansion
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma president David Boren plans to do some nudging when he meets with fellow Big 12 Conference administrators next week.
Right after the NCAA granted the Big 12 the right to have a championship game in a 10-team league, Boren told the Oklahoma Daily student newspaper that he felt the conference should only have a championship game after it expands to 12 teams and has a league-wide television deal. He believes all those things should be dealt with at the same time.
The Big 12's presidents, chancellors and athletic directors meet Feb. 4-5 in the Dallas area and there has been little public interest from its members for expansion beyond the 10 schools.
The 74-year-old Boren says it won't be a "shootout at the OK corral," and he doesn't expect any votes to take place on those issues.
"I'd like to plant the seeds for a resolution," Boren said. "I hope that resolution will not be a shootout. I hope that resolution will be one where everyone reaches a common goal as to what we're going to do."
Boren wants to accelerate the process without rushing it so the Big 12 can have some of the same opportunities as schools in other Power Five conferences.
"What I hope we'll do is do a lot of talking about it and hope that we get some kind of a timetable laid out in front of us, during which time we'll act," he said. "If not, it'll be 10 years from now that we decide whether or not we're going to do this. Let's hope this is going to be in the next few months to a year or whatever."
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby was unavailable for comment Friday.
Boren said in order to have a conference network, individual school networks, including Texas' Longhorn Network, would need to be folded into the larger one. He said Big 12 schools are losing $4 million to $6 million per year because of the lack of a conference network. Texas is in the midst of a 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN. Boren said it would make sense for other schools to make up for possible losses Texas would incur if its network was taken over or incorporated.
"I'm not out to embarrass Texas," Boren said. "I'm not out to make them financially worse off. I'm not out to do any of those things. This isn't any kind of motivation to do anything to Texas that makes them worse off. I just think we've got to think about ways to transition away from that, that will keep them whole and be fair with them."
A Texas spokesman declined comment.
As for expansion, Boren said he's already part of a subcommittee that has been reviewing expansion possibilities for the past year. The committee includes Baylor President Ken Starr and West Virginia President E. Gordon Gee. Boren wouldn't say which schools he thinks the league should add, though he said he felt the Big 12 missed out by not adding Louisville.
"Candidates have been politicking for three, four, five or six years," Boren said. "I get binders from other presidents I know, saying, `I want you to see what we're doing athletically. I want you to see what we're doing in academics and research. We'd be such a great fit with the Big 12.' We definitely have schools that are constantly lobbying us."