The report from the Houston Chronicle that kicked off a flurry of activity between the University of Texas, the University of Oklahoma, the Big 12, and the SEC now looks like it will come to fruition in the coming days.
As Oklahoma and Texas prepare to depart the Big 12 for the SEC, partner schools have not taken kindly to the news. Even more so that this move has been in the works for six months has drawn the ire of the Sooners’ in-state rival Oklahoma State.
In response to the news, Oklahoma State President Kayse Shrum issued the following statement:
We are disappointed by the lack of engagement and transparency from our colleagues at OU over the past months on a matter with serious ramifications for our state. We have historically worked together to advance our state and address issues based on a partnership built on trust. To that end, we will continue to work with purpose to the advancement of our state and the betterment of our fellow Oklahomans. In the ever-changing college athletic landscape, we will honor our values and ethics as we consider the next steps. Our commitment to our student-athletes is top of mind, and their best interests will be represented prominently. We enjoy a proud athletic heritage with more National Championships than any other Big 12 university, and we will aggressively pursue the opportunities ahead. Additionally, our university enjoys a great brand known for education, research, and service, and we will move forward with strength. – Shrum
It’s understandable that other members of the Big 12 would not take kindly to the idea that Oklahoma and Texas have been working toward a departure for some time. As Shrum states, this move sends ripple effects through the Big 12 and puts the long-standing Bedlam events across all athletics in jeopardy.
However, if President Shrum wants to continue to work toward the best interests of the State of Oklahoma, perhaps there’s a chance the games continue in the future.
Given the tone of the statement though, Oklahoma State may not be in a forgiving mood any time soon.