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Texas Follows OU's Lead, Gives Realignment Power To Bill Powers

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Texas president Bill Powers (center) now has the power to determine the university's conference alignment. (AP Photo) Texas president Bill Powers (center) now has the power to determine the university's conference alignment. (AP Photo)

Corey DeMoss, News9.com

AUSTIN, Texas – Mere minutes after the OU Board of Regents gave conference realignment power to David Boren, the University of Texas did the same for President Bill Powers.

The board meetings for OU and Texas almost identically mirrored each other. When both meetings reached the item devoted to conference realignment, both elected to go to a closed executive session to discuss the issue.

Both executive sessions lasted for longer than an hour, but both ultimately ended with the presidents having the power to determine their schools' athletic affiliation.

Reports for weeks have indicated that both schools are interested in leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-12 in a package deal with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Oklahoma State has scheduled a similar regents meeting for Wednesday, and is expected to follow the lead of OU and Texas.

The decisions made by the board of regents do not guarantee that either OU or Texas will leave the Big 12. Both presidents indicated that remaining in their current conference is still a viable option, but this is the first step a school must take if it chooses to change its alignment.

Texas A&M was the first Big 12 school to go down this path, giving the same power to president R. Bowen Loftin. He wasted no time in informing the Big 12 that Texas A&M would leave the conference, presumably for the SEC.

Baylor University responded to that move by filing a lawsuit to prevent A&M's departure, and the sides have been in a stalemate since. Texas A&M still has not been officially accepted by any conference, including the SEC.

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