Full transcript of Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis’ comments after OSU/A&M Board of Regents meeting
Here is the full transcript of Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis’ comments following the OSU/A&M Board of Regents meeting that gave Hargis the authority to “assess and recommend to the Board what is best for Oklahoma State” regarding conference affiliation.
On what needs to happen to stabilize the Big 12:
I think there are a lot of things that we ought to address, I think revenue sharing is an important issue, I think the issue of the grant of rights for television contracts. There are a number of items, and most of them have been reported, or at least discussed in the press. I’m optimistic that we’re going to get somewhere on this.
On what other “options” OSU has besides staying in the Big 12, given the Pac-12’s announcement it won’t expand:
I think if we’ve learned anything in this, it’s you shouldn’t spend the money until the check clears. (Don’t worry, Hargis will be asked this question again.)
On OSU’s relationship with OU:
We’re both going to look out, of course, for our institutions, but we’re also looking out for the best for Oklahoma, as well. I think we believe that the best interest of Oklahoma and our institutions is for us to remain united in these matters. We’ve had a very steady dialogue here for several weeks about every possible ramification of this. I have enormous respect for (OU president David Boren) and the institution, their leadership and their programs, and I think that’s reciprocated. We’re going to be united on this, and whatever ends up happening, it will be a joint decision on our part.
Does OSU really have other options other than reforming the Big 12?
Oh yeah, I think so. But as I’ve said, (reforming the Big 12 is) our first priority. It’s always been our first priority to make that happen. There are a lot of conferences in this country…but I don’t want to speculate on that. Our goal is to bring that stability to the Big 12 and that will ensure its future.
On the leverage OSU has to get other schools to come around on reforms:
I don’t think we’re going to force anybody into anything. I think it’s got to be a consensus. A conference is like a family. You can’t rule with an iron hand. It has to be an equal sharing of views, and then developing a consensus that we can all stand behind. I think President Boren is talking about the importance of trust in this entire area, and I agree with that completely. We’re not going to try to force anything. We’re going to express what we think is important and is essential to the stability that we all seek.
Do you get the feeling that Texas will make some changes for the greater good of the conference?
I think there is a willingness among all the institutions in the Big 12 to seriously discuss what would be the best approach. The conference was formed at a very different time than it is today, and the recent events I think have shown that the structure that was developed way back then may not be applicable to today’s realities. I think Texas has been open to any ideas. They have expressed, I think, as well, their desire to keep the Big 12 together. It’s just like all families. You have your disagreements, but sooner or later, you come back together, and that’s what I hope happens here.
On if the Pac-12 announcement improves the opportunity to negotiate with Texas:
I don’t want to characterize it that we’re negotiating with Texas. What we’re really trying to do is identify those areas that need to be fixed, so we can move on. I just don’t think of it in terms of strengthening or weakening by hand. I think these things are either valid or they’re not. And if we all have the attitude that we want to have an equal role in the success of this conference, I think we’ll come to a consensus.
On commissioner Dan Beebe:
I’ve read all the reports that are out there about Dan, and I just don’t want to discuss personnel issues on the record.
On Texas putting Tier 1 and Tier 2 revenue sharing on the table:
That has definitely been a subject of discussion that we’ve had in the conference.
On when this will all be over
I think it will be resolved very shortly. I’m hopeful that by this weekend, we can just think about football.
On the activity of the Big 12 expansion committee:
I think it’s safe to say that there hasn’t been a lot of discussion about that recently amongst the committee, but that definitely moves to the front burner again, because we want to get that resolved. Certainly, the position of Oklahoma State—and I think most of the schools, if not all—is that we want to add a 10th team. I’d certainly consider more than 10. I don’t know about 16, but I think 12, though, is something we’d like to return to. I would, anyway.
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