Realignment Notebook: David Boren says Texas TV network unfair

BY TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, thaney@opubco.com Published: September 19, 2011

“I frankly do not think that it helps the cause of conference stability when any university threatens lawsuits, in order to try and maintain it.”

SUPERCONFERENCES ARE COMPLICATED, BUT MANAGEABLE

Boren acknowledged a 16-team league would be more complex – especially compared with the olden days of the Big 8. But he said there are ways to “minimize” the difficulty, including the reported notion of geography-friendly four-team pods.

“Instead of two (divisions), if you create pods of four teams each,” he said, “you can work out a schedule where travel can be minimized and you would play within the pod that geographically was close to you.”

Boren also admitted the desire to join a 16-team league is based on the fact that, well, everyone else is probably going to do it.

“Is conference consolidation moving in an inevitable direction?” he said. “If it is, we have to keep that in mind, as well. That's something we have to weigh.

“Is it? I don't know. We've watched closely what's happened with Pittsburgh and Syracuse (to the ACC) in the last few days. We're seeing what's happening nationally. Obviously, the SEC will be expanding if A&M continues to go to the SEC. That's something else we have to think about.”

SOONERS PROCEEDING WITH ITS OWN TV PLANS

OU is still moving forward with plans to have its own TV network, which Boren said would be both lucrative and play by the rules with respects to peers. Both thoughts seemed to carry intent with regard to UT.

“I would say the level of interest of those who would like to be partners, media partners in our network, has gone up considerably – even over the past few weeks,” he said. “There are a number of financial opportunities for the University of Oklahoma, too. The important thing is, if we have a network of our own, we want to run that network in a way that doesn't seek to advantage us over other members, particularly in recruiting and other areas like that.”