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OSU President Burns Hargis: Best option is to reform and stabilize Big 12 Conference

By Gina Mizell, Staff Writer, Published: September 21, 2011

— The Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents gave president Burns Hargis the authority to “assess and recommend to the Board what is best for Oklahoma State” regarding athletic conference affiliation at a special meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Hargis said after the meeting that he believes the best option for OSU is working to reform and stabilize the Big 12, echoing a statement released by Oklahoma president David Boren late Tuesday night.

“What we're really trying to do is identify those areas that need to be fixed so we can move on,” Hargis said. “…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.”

Hargis identified revenue sharing and rights for television contracts as issues that need to be addressed. The Big 12 board of directors will meet Thursday, and Hargis said some form or resolution and renewed commitment to the conference could come by this weekend.

“I think it will be resolved very shortly,” Hargis said. “I'm hopeful that by this weekend, we can just think about football.”

Staying in the Big 12 became a more likely option for OSU and OU Tuesday night, when the Pac-12 announced that it does not plan to expand. But a high-ranking OU official told The Oklahoman Wednesday that reforming the Big 12 was the plan all along and that rumors that the Sooners and Cowboys were moving West were being used as leverage.

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