Officials representing Oklahoma and Texas were no-shows Thursday to a Big 12 call to discuss the schools’ reported interest in leaving the conference for the SEC, according to multiple reports.
Both Yahoo’s Pete Thamel and Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported the call, comprising of the league’s ADs and CEOs, went on without a Longhorns or Sooners voice, further suggesting both schools are on their way out of the Big 12.
Furthermore, Ross Dellinger of SI reports Big 12 administrators were informed both schools have explored the possibility of joining the SEC. The next step, he said, is for the Big 12 presidents to connect with leads at Texas and Oklahoma and find out why.
CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd first reported the meeting would take place at 5 p.m. Thursday.
On Wednesday, Oklahoma released a statement: “The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don’t address every anonymous rumor.”
Texas also sent out the following: “Speculation swirls around collegiate athletics. We will not address rumors or speculation.”
In fact, the only thing coming from Texas football came by way of a Throwback Thursday tweet of a game-winning field goal to lift the Longhorns in the “final game of the rivalry” with Texas A&M, which, of course, is now in the SEC.
This isn’t unfamiliar territory for the Big 12. Ten years ago, the conference lost Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M and Missouri. Still, the Big 12 had Texas and Oklahoma, then added TCU and West Virginia to maintain its Power 5 status.
The story was a big topic of conversation at other conference media days on Thursday.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren skirted the question.
“That’s the world that we live in right now,” he said. “From where we sit, we’re always constantly evaluating what’s in the best interest of the conference.”
ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, in his first year at the helm, took a similar approach.
“I think it’s critically important for all of us to always be paying attention to what’s happening in the landscape and understanding what’s happening across the country, whether you’re a conference commissioner, whether you’re an athletic director, whether you’re a president,” he said. “It’s just part of all of our responsibility. And this is the latest maybe conversation that we’re hearing about.”
Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.