OU's sole focus now on joining Pac-12

University of Oklahoma sources are indicating the school's focus is squarely on joining the Pac-12. By nature of Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis' comments Saturday, it would seem OSU is also focused on the Pac-12
BY BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writer, btramel@opubco.com Modified: September 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm •  Published: September 3, 2011

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott was in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night for the Oregon-LSU game.

Prime opportunity for OU officials to meet with the head of the conference they are considering joining. But an OU source said Saturday there were no plans for Scott to meet with the Sooners.

Not because something has gone wrong, but because something went right.

“I don't think anybody needs to go” meet with Scott, the source said, indicating the Pac-12 has become the Sooners' sole focus.

The Pac-12 preference is to add four schools – OU, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech.

The OU source said Scott hopes to meet with University of Texas president William Powers over the weekend.

OU president David Boren stepped out of a cloak of secrecy Friday and said the Sooners were being proactive in deciding their conference future, had interest from multiple conferences and expected to make a decision soon, from 72 hours to two weeks.

“We're at the sensitive point of discussions among schools,” Boren said.

In Columbia, Mo., on Saturday, Missouri athletic director Mike Alden admitted Boren's comments were sobering to those who want to keep the Big 12 together.

"It's somewhat surprising that comment came out because I know everybody's been working together," Alden said. "You put something like that out there and it just reinforces that image of being unstable. How do you recover from that? I don't know."

Friday, orangebloods.com reported that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe convened a conference call of Big 12 presidents -- excluding Boren, Texas' William Powers and Texas A&M's R. Bowen Loftin -- and urged them to petition Texas to remain with the league.

OSU president Burns Hargis issued a statement Saturday that seemed to say the Cowboys would do whatever the Sooners do.

“We are in close communications with our colleagues at the University of Oklahoma and expect a decision soon that will be in the best interest of our institutions and the state of Oklahoma,” Hargis said.

Another highly-placed OSU source said of the Pac-12, “I think probably the way it's going to go. OU and OSU have to stick together.”

The Pac-12 sales job shifts now to Texas, and sources indicated that the Longhorns have warmed to the idea, even though some compromise would be in order, since the Pac-12 has announced plans for a conference network and UT has its own Longhorn Network that has caused such consternation in the Big 12.

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