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Statement from Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis committing to Big 12 conference

Gina Mizell Published: September 22, 2011

Here is the statement from Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, committing to the Big 12 and outlining some of the reforms that were agreed upon at the  Big 12 Board of Directors meeting earlier today.

“We had a constructive and productive conference call today.  As I have said from the beginning, we thought it would be best to keep the Big 12 together, especially for our students, fans, and student-athletes.

Working with the other Big 12 presidents, we are now taking important and significant steps to forge a path where we not only keep the conference together, but also make it much stronger.  We made progress.  We pledged our commitment to the conference as made evident by the decision of the nine remaining members to grant our tier 1 (network) and tier 2 (cable) television rights to the conference for six years.

We re-established the expansion committee and we formed a working group to address matters and issues important to stabilizing the conference for the long term.  We also have hired Chuck Neinas as the interim commissioner to lead our conference.  While we decided new leadership at the conference was necessary, we also thanked Dan Beebe for his tireless efforts over the years, especially the past two years.

There is still ground to be covered and issues to be addressed.  As I have said before, we want to lay a foundation to build an even stronger conference.  Today, we started laying a strong foundation to take our conference into the future and make sure it remains one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences.  I am encouraged.

Let me say, I have come to respect even more my fellow presidents during the past several weeks as we worked together for the greater good of the conference.  I want to express my personal thanks to Chancellor Deaton for his leadership.”

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