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Boone Pickens: Big 12 isn't dead; Texas A&M ‘sobering up'

CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT – Oklahoma State benefactor Boone Pickens calls on Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry to step in to save the Big 12 Conference.
BY BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writer, Published: September 20, 2011

Pickens said his plan for A&M is to tell the University of Texas that the Aggies will stay in the Big 12, but only if UT folds its Longhorn Network into an equitable revenue distribution. However, that's a different cause than what irks A&M and OU about the Longhorn Network. The network's association with ESPN, which has pushed to air high school content, bothers the Sooners and Aggies, who believe it would give Texas a recruiting advantage.

“I would cut them off on that thing real quick,” Pickens said. “Your problem is DeLoss (Dodds, UT's athletic director). DeLoss is a guy who's always played with all the cards.

“I told him six weeks ago, ‘we understand you've got the best hand. But you can't keep doing that to people. You gotta show leadership.

“Big 12, come to your senses. Step up on leadership. Explain to Texas that whatever they have that's different, it's not (going to be) different anymore.”

Pickens said his message to OSU president Burns Hargis and athletic director Mike Holder is be patient.

Pickens said if OSU and OU enter the Pac-12, “are you going to be full-fledged members? Not ever, probably. You'll be viewed as the division without the ocean. You'll get to play SC (Southern Cal) at Stillwater every eight years. That's not much of a deal.”