Despite all the rumors that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would be headed to the Pac-12 soon, the Pac-12 has decided against further expansion.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott announced on Tuesday night that the conference would not pursue any other schools to join its conference -- putting a brake on Oklahoma's impending exit from the Big 12.
After careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference, Scott said in a statement.
Scott's statement came after the 12 schools convened for a discussion on expansion. Scott needed at least nine schools to approve expansion, but OrangeBloods' Chip Brown reports at least six schools were opposed to expansion.
Scott was the leader of the expansion charge in 2010, but after adding Colorado and Utah he had eased off the expansion push. A lot of that is because of a 12-year, $2.7 billion television contract that some member institutions didn't think was guaranteed to increase if Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were added.
While we have great respect for all the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve, Scott said in the Pac-12 statement. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us.
Following the Pac-12's announcement, Oklahoma affirmed its commitment to the Big 12, but it's believed the school would like to see major changes at the top.
We were not surprised by the Pac-12's decision to not expand at this time, Oklahoma president David Boren said in a statement. Conference stability has been our first goal and we look forward to achieving that goal through continued membership in the Big 12 Conference.
One of Oklahoma's proposed changes is for maligned commissioner Dan Beebe to resign and to be replaced by an interim commissioner immediately.
It's going to take major, major reforms for OU, and thus Oklahoma State, to consider remaining in the Big 12, a source told The Oklahoman on Tuesday. We'd have to have an interim commissioner.
Oklahoma also reportedly would like for Texas to hold back on some of its Longhorn Network initiatives. The Longhorn Network, through ESPN, created major turmoil in the Big 12 and is considered to be a major reason why Texas A&M bolted for the SEC. It is believed that Oklahoma and Texas will meet at some point to air out their differences and work to reform the Big 12.