Texas and Oklahoma officials have yet to inform the Big 12 of their reasons for leaving the conference for the SECGETTY IMAGES
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he does not have the "vaguest idea" why Texas and Oklahoma are leaving for the SEC because "to this day, they've given us no answers to that question," according to Brian Davis of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Bowlsby "laid bare his feelings" about UT and OU’s move. He said, “We’re going to have to find ways to get along. We have to work together, and we will. But I would say trust is at a relative low.” He added, “I’ve asked repeatedly, and they never made us aware of any concerns in advance. When we’ve asked the question since then, we’ve gotten no response.” Davis notes UT’s top officials, like President Jay Hartzell and UT System Board of Regents Chair Kevin Eltife, "still have never gone in depth about why they wanted to leave the Big 12." Sources said that the Big 12 "asked its members to sign a five-year extension of the grant of television rights." Bowlsby: “We never asked them to extend the TV contracts. There was never an ask for an extension of the grant of rights. There was never any negotiations with EPSN." Asked whether he expects to have a 14-team Big 12 in '23, Bowlsby said, “Yeah. They’ve told us they’re staying until June 30, 2025. I take them at their word until they demonstrate something contrary to that.” Bowlsby "thought that he was on a glidepath to retirement, but now he will "stay on as long as the remaining conference members would like." Bowlsby: "I'm not going to leave our members hanging" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 10/21).
IN THE KNOW: SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum said Bowlsby “knows why Texas and Oklahoma left” the Big 12. Finebaum: “He’s in charge of the league, it has nothing to do with the affiliation. It has everything to do with their inability to ... get a new TV contract on the board early and secondly, his inability to ever get a conference network off the ground. Bob knows that” (“The Paul Finebaum Show,” SEC Network, 10/20).