NORMAN, Oklahoma – OU president David Boren addressed a number of issues and decisions at a press conference on Thursday night, including a grant of rights to the Big 12.
"There was a motion adopted that all of the nine presidents expressed on behalf of our institutions, to work together in the Big 12, to stay in our conference and to strengthen our confidence," Boren said.
Boren said he felt the group needed more than just an expression of solidarity, which is why they agreed to the grant of rights.
The six-year grant of rights to the Big 12 was agreed to by all the institutions' presidents present in the conference call and covers all tier 1 (network) and tier 2 (cable) TV contracts, Boren said.
An official contract has not yet been signed on the grant of rights deal yet, because some schools must get approval from the governing boards first, Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda said.
"That grant of rights really has teeth in it," Boren said. "When you grant your rights, it's very unlikely you would receive an invitation from another conference."
If a Big 12 team were to move to another conference within the next six years, Boren said the money received by the team for any new TV contracts would go straight back to the Big 12, giving conferences a major reason to refuse any new applicants coming out of the Big 12.
"If you wanted to talk about one important action that does demonstrate that this conference will be stable, I think that grant of rights is a very essential item," he said.
The Big 12's contract negotiations take place in five years, one year before the TV grant of rights expires. This allows the teams to gauge the others schools' interests in staying in the conference at that time and potentially demand a renewal of the grant of rights before any schools could consider bolting to another conference.
Boren also announced the re-activation of an expansion committee designed to focus on which teams to potentially add to the conference for future expansion.
That committee consists of Joe Castiglione, Burns Hargis, Texas president DeLoss Dodds, Kansas State president Kirk Schulz and Chairman of the Big 12 Board Brady Deaton of Missouri.
In addition, Deaton also announced during the meeting the formation of a special working group committee to work on additional steps that could be taken to ensure the stability of the conference and strengthen it further.
Though Boren wouldn't get into specifics, issues such as the Longhorn Network and Baylor's potential lawsuit against Texas A&M are likely among those agendas for the special committee.
News9.com will update this story as more details become available.