David Boren: OU Will Decide Conference Fate Within Three Weeks

Friday, September 2nd 2011, 9:07 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- University of Oklahoma president David Boren says multiple conferences have shown interest in the Sooners recently and he expects to decide whether to leave the Big 12 or not within the next three weeks.

On Friday Boren said that Oklahoma is seeking stability in its conference relationship with "partners that are both outstanding athletically and academically as well because a conference that's strong is not only stable but it's one in which there are multiple relationships, along with sports, between the university members."

He said he tried to prevent Texas A&M from leaving the Big 12 and was disappointed the Aggies announced this week they would seek to join another conference -- most likely the SEC -- by next July.

Boren said the bottom line is "I don't think OU is going to be a wallflower when all is said and done."

"I don't know how long it will be before clarity comes to us," said Boren. "My experience is that on these kinds of things, it might be a matter of 72 hours, it might be a matter of two weeks. I don't really think this is something that is going to linger on beyond two or three weeks at the outside."

Boren confirmed that he flew to Missouri, whose chancellor is the chairman of the Big 12 board of directors, and then to College Station last week to try to prevent the Aggies from leaving. He said he's disappointed that he thought the Sooners had conference stability and instead face the same challenge as last summer.

"We don't know what's going to happen. Some things are trends beyond the control of any one university," Boren said. "Is there going to be a continued trend toward consolidation? Are we going to see conferences that are now 12 ... move to 16? Is that going to happen? Maybe that's not going to happen."

"You've seen both. You've seen a tendency toward consolidation and then you've seen some pushback in the very largest conferences from schools that say, 'Not too big.' We're trying to sort all that out. At this point in time, I'm being very honest with you. I do not know with certainty or perhaps even can't hazard a totally intelligent guess as to what our final decision will be. But we are carefully looking over all of the options. There is no school in the Big 12 more active than we are right now."