David Boren realignment transcript: First portion
TULSA — Riding back to the office, transcribing David Boren’s comments re: conference situation and his being given the authority to make a decision on OU’s behalf.
Here’s the first chunk … second to follow …
OU PRESIDENT DAVID BOREN
(in meeting, after being given authority to act for OU in conference discussions)
“I am prepared to take action and be in consultation with the board, as is appropriate.”
(“postgame” with reporters – opening statement)
“The board, clearly, is processed to be ready to act when the time comes to act. I would repeat what I said recently our first obligation is to the University of Oklahoma – not only in this instant case, but in the long term. We’re going to make a decision about our future, in terms of conference realignment, on what we feels is in the best long-term interest in the University of Oklahoma. That’s our criteria. That’s our goal.
“Very important to us, as we consider the most important step for us to take, is long-term stability, for the university within a conference framework. Obviously we do not want to continue to have these kinds of situations, where our membership in a conference is still undecided, has to be revisited every year, the stability of the conference has to be revisited every year.
“We’re still looking very carefully at our options. We’re having conversations with others. Obviously there’s more than one option before us, in terms of considering what to do.
“I would also underline the fact that we’re working very, very closely with our friends at Oklahoma State University. As I’ve looked at other places and seen their relationship – or perhaps their lack of a good relationship – between even universities in the same state, I appreciate even more the close relationship that we have with Oklahoma State University. We are conferring daily, the two presidents with each other, the leaders of the athletics departments with each other. Whatever we do, we’re going to do it together. I think that’s very good news for the state of Oklahoma. It shows the kind of quality of cooperation and unity that strengthens our state.
“I also would say our board is unified. There is no division on our board as to what we should do and what factors we should consider in making our decision. So that kind of unity within the University of Oklahoma, that kind of unity with our colleagues at Oklahoma State University, puts us in a stronger position than we would otherwise.
“We’re still going to be looking at all the options. Nothing is foreclosed. In the end, we’re going to make the best decision for the university. This grant of authority will give me the ability to work with others, other institutions – other presidents – to move quickly. I’d still love to see a result sooner rather than later. I think that it’s best for everyone involved if we can reach a conclusion, reach a decision, as soon as possible.
(apply for Pac-12 membership within a week?)
“I don’t want to go into those kinds of details. I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to go into those kinds of details. Let me just say we’ve had conversations, informal conversations, with the Pac-12 and those conversations have been very warm and very constructive. Beyond that, I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to say anything more. We’ve also had very constructive conversations with president Brady Deaton at Missouri of the Big 12, the chairman of the Big 12 conference (presidents) this year. Those conversations have again been very, very constructive. I would say we’re having two sets of very constructive conversations at this point in time.
(feelings on Texas in all this?)
“Both of us, there’s a healthy rivalry between us. Of course, there are so many people that have cousins on both sides of the Red River. We’re almost like a family. Sometimes we don’t see things exactly the same way, but while we like being rivals, we like to work together when it’s appropriate. We’re continuing to have conversations with our friends at the University of Texas. I think we’re always stronger when Texas and Oklahoma move together, just like we’re stronger when Oklahoma and Oklahoma State work together.
“We have different perspectives. I’d put it this way. We’re listening with respect to each other, at this point in time. It’s too early to tell whether we’ll make a common decision or not.
(asked same question)
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