Oklahoma State president: Oklahoma 'broke a bond of trust' with push to move to SEC

·4-min read

Oklahoma State is upset with Oklahoma as the Sooners and Texas are angling to move to the SEC. 

OSU president Kayse Shrum said in a statement posted to Twitter on Monday afternoon that OU was "in clear breach of the bylaws of the Big 12 Conference and broke a bond of trust between our universities in existence for decades" by working with Texas to decline to extend the Big 12's grant of rights. 

The two Big 12 powers officially announced Monday that they would be exploring their conference options ahead of the grant of rights' expiration in 2025 as reports swirl that the schools are heading to the SEC.

Here's Shrum's statement in full. 

"Earlier today, OU delivered a document to the Big 12 Conference office which indicated they will not sign the grant of rights agreement in 2024-25. This action was strategic, deliberate and is the result of months of planning with the SEC. We believe these conversations, which developed over a long period of time, are in clear breach of the bylaws of the Big 12 Conference and broke a bond of trust between our universities in existence for decades. 

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. Nevertheless, we are turning our eyes to the future and looking at what is best for Oklahoma State University. Over the last few days, I have received countless phone calls, texts and emails from high-ranking officials and members of the Cowboy family showing their support for OSU as we navigate the road ahead. Regardless of what comes next, OSU is dedicated to the state of Oklahoma. We remain confident Oklahoma State is in the strongest position we have ever been in and I am excited about the future of Oklahoma State University, our land-grant mission, world-class faculty and top-notch athletic programs. 

While Oklahoma and Texas and the Big 12 have been referencing the 2025 expiration of the grant of rights agreement, it's possible that the schools could buy their way out of the conference earlier. According to Sports Illustrated, SEC presidents are set to meet on Thursday. Could they discuss Oklahoma and Texas like they did a week ago?

Oklahoma State's future in flux

Oklahoma State, like the other seven remaining teams in the Big 12, is left without a clear path forward if and when Oklahoma and Texas make the move to the SEC. 

While OSU has been solid on the football field under coach Mike Gundy, it doesn't have the success Oklahoma has or any of the history. And Oklahoma doesn't have the population base that makes the school an attractive option for a conference to expand its viewership and reach. 

The best-case scenario for Oklahoma State and others could be for the Big 12 to hang together in some form and add other schools. As a Power Five conference, the Big 12 is part of the "autonomous five" and has greater decision-making capabilities within the NCAA structure than the Group of Five conferences. 

Texas Tech released a similar statement to Oklahoma State's on Monday afternoon too. But it didn't have nearly the spice. 

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