Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis recently replaced Missouri's Brady Deaton as chairman of the Big 12 board of directors. Hargis, also a member of the Big 12 expansion committee, took time for a question-and-answer session Saturday during the Cowboys game against Kansas.
What does being chairman of the board mean to you?
“I don't know if that's a distinction or punishment, everything we've been through. I think things are looking up. I'm optimistic.”
What does the role entail?
“Oh, I think I'm just a person that calls for the motion and a second. It's not like I got elected because of my great ability. We rotate the chairmanship. I was the vice chairman and Brady was the chairman and when he resigned, I don't know if I ascended or descended to the chairman.”
What can you tell us about TCU's invitation and was it unanimous?
“Yes, but Missouri didn't vote. But it was unanimous and it was enthusiastic. You know, it's just a really good fit. They're in our footprint. They have traditional rivalries. It's a very strong academic institution and it has great sports. So you put all that into the mix and it's hard to think of a reason not to do that. We're very optimistic that TCU will accept our invitation.”
Did you kind of know the answer before you extended the invitation?
“It's kind of like asking a girl out, right? You want to know the answer. I think we felt like there was a good chance they had interest. I hadn't had any direct conversations with anybody there, but just reading what you all write, it looked like there was some interest.”
What's next for this group?
“I hope Missouri announcing they're staying is what's next. Then we're at 10, a good solid 10. And whether we go beyond that this year or later is going to be up to the board. And I'm not sure there's unanimity on the board on that subject.”
Is Missouri not happy with the six-year grant of television rights, not agreeing to that when it was on the table? Is there something more they are looking for?
“I don't think so. I think Missouri, just from conversations we've had for a long time, would be very pleased with what we've done. I think the obstacle with assigning rights is if you're looking around, you don't want to leave your TV rights back where you were.”