With Oklahoma and Texas officially leaving the Big 12, the next steps in their pursuit of joining the SEC have been laid out.
According to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, the SEC presidents will hold a league meeting on Thursday to discuss the matter of Oklahoma and Texas joining the conference. With the two Big 12 teams announcing their intentions to not renew their grant of rights in 2025, they opened the door for an SEC move.
While they haven’t applied for SEC membership yet, it appears to only be a formality at this point, and the next step would be a vote among the SEC presidents to see whether Oklahoma and Texas would be accepted.
SEC presidents have called a meeting for Thursday, sources tell @SINow.
Texas & OU took the first step in joining the league today. The second step is applying for membership, which is expected but hasn't yet happened as of Monday at 5 ET.
The third step: SEC presidential vote.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 26, 2021
Texas A&M has been very vocal against Oklahoma and Texas (Texas specifically) joining the conference it joined to leave Texas just a decade ago, and while they may veto the Big 12 powerhouses from joining the SEC, it doesn’t seem likely the conference as a whole will exclude Oklahoma and Texas.
Texas A&M does appear to be discussing their options, however. The Texas A&M regents met at 5 p.m. CT Monday to discuss options regarding their “possible action on contractual and governance issues relating to Texas A&M University and the Southeastern Conference.”
The Texas A&M Board of Regents will meet on Monday at 5 pm CT, "for discussion and possible action on contractual and governance issues relating to Texas A&M University and the Southeastern Conference."
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) July 24, 2021
Texas A&M doesn’t appear to be the only school harboring ill will toward Oklahoma and Texas. Oklahoma State president Dr. Kayse Shrum issued a strong response to the exit. Shrum wrote how, “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.”
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.
— Dr. Kayse Shrum (@drshrum) July 26, 2021
Additionally, she said the discussions between Oklahoma (and Texas) and the SEC, “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.” Her further statements can be read in her Twitter post’s thread.
— Lawrence Schovanec (@TexasTechPres) July 26, 2021
Texas Tech president Lawrence Schovanec, a member of the Big 12’s executive committee, expressed his disappointment “that two members have elected not to renew their media rights.” His response didn’t name Oklahoma and Texas explicitly.
Schonavec’s message echoed the sentiments of the Big 12 bolstering the Texas Tech brand and how Texas Tech will continue to strive for the best for their position within collegiate athletics and strive for success athletically and financially for Tech’s athletic programs in the future.
Kansas State’s statement, from president Richard Myers and athletics director Gene Taylor, wasn’t as venomous as Oklahoma State’s, but Kansas State said they’d continue to be, “eager to collaborate and position ourselves for continued success.” Like almost every Big 12 school, KS echoed the sentiment of every effort being taken to ensure the best for the school moving forward.
A statement from K-State Athletics Director Gene Taylor and Kansas State University President Richard Myers pic.twitter.com/hxVSZ1gbX2
— K-State Athletics (@kstatesports) July 26, 2021
Undoubtedly, more Big 12 schools will come forward with statements, many likely echoing the sentiments of disappointment with Oklahoma and Texas, and the promise to strive for greater success among student-athletes in the program heading forward in the future.