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SOURCE: OU ultimately sought Big 12 reform, not Pac-12 move

STAYING PUT – On Monday it appeared Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were headed to the Pac-12. But an OU source said they called Tuesday morning to say they would not apply for membership. The story of why they didn't go is one of what didn't change rather than what did.
BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, jcarlson@opubco.com Published: September 21, 2011
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> Then the Longhorns abruptly ended it, according to the OU source, announcing they weren't going to the Pac-12 before they'd even notified the league's leaders.

“They really felt burned,” the source said. “They told us in the future they don't think they're ever really going to want to do business with Texas.

“They're very angry with Texas.”

On Wednesday, Texas President William Powers told reporters in Austin that the school was open to a new revenue-sharing model. He acknowledged that change would build stability in the conference and was something the school would be willing to work toward.

“We are open to every idea,” Powers said. “We've never said that's off the table.”

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds sounded a different tone. In an on-campus interview with a small group of reporters, he said he supporting the sharing of first-tier (network) and second-tier (cable) broadcast revenues.

But revenue from the Longhorn Network?

Dodds said Texas would not agree to share any of the money that's part of the 20-year, $300-million deal.

That was the major sticking point with the Pac-12. A source told the San Jose Mercury News that Commissioner Larry Scott left a meeting with Texas officials last weekend almost completely certain that the Pac-12's revenue model and the Longhorn Network were incompatible.

The Pac-12 wasn't a perfect fit for OU and OSU either, the OU source said.

Travel for teams that rarely use charted flights, which is nearly every sport but football, would be rigorous and expensive. Travel for families and fans would be difficult, too.

“Whether we stayed in the Big 12 or went to the Pac-12, it's a wash financially,” the source said. “You pump up a couple of million, but your costs go up $2 or $3 million.”

But ultimately, reforming and stabilizing the Big 12 became the goal for OU and OSU, the source said.

“We've been playing a bit of poker,” the source said. “That hand was a lot stronger (Tuesday) than (Wednesday), but so many things are already agreed to.

“If they'll all keep their word at the meeting (Thursday), we will have some substantial reforms and substantial stability.”


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