A person with knowledge of the situation says Texas and Oklahoma officials met over the weekend amid speculation that the Sooners are considering leaving the Big 12.
Texas President William Powers Jr., athletic director DeLoss Dodds and women’s athletic director Chris Plonsky were among a group of Texas officials who went to Oklahoma on Sunday, according to a person at a Big 12 school who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly about the meeting.
The person also said OU president David Boren was present at the meeting, which was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman.
Oklahoma officials are reportedly considering leaving the Big 12 after Texas A&M;’s recent decision to leave the conference with hopes of joining the Southeastern Conference.
On Sept. 2, Boren said multiple conferences have expressed interest in the Sooners and that he expected a decision possibly this month. That could be a move to the Pac-12 or remaining in a revised Big 12 that could be searching for a team to replace Texas A&M.;
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has indicated his conference would not be the first to pursue expansion but would monitor the situation nationwide and possibly react to events.
Texas officials have publicly stated their desire to keep the Big 12 intact.
The league was nearly torn apart in 2010 as Nebraska went to the Big Ten and Colorado went to the Pac-12. The Pac-12 also courted Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State but those schools chose to stay in the Big 12.
Since then, Texas has signed a 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN for its new Longhorn Network, a 24-hour showcase for Texas athletics that has caused several Big 12 members to worry it gives the Longhorns too much power and influence, especially in the areas of exposure and recruiting.
The Aggies announced recently that they will leave the Big 12 if possible, only to run into a hurdle as Baylor and other schools declined to waive their right to sue over such a departure. The SEC last week voted to accept the Aggies if the legal headaches can be taken care of.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said Monday that the 12-member conference has “started to look at schedules for 2012-13” for 13 teams.
“Texas A&M; is an outstanding academic institution with an exceptional athletic program, passionate fans and wonderful traditions,” he said. “When Texas A&M; joins our conference, we don’t have immediate plans for a 14th member. We aren’t thinking in terms of numbers. We think about the strength of the SEC and the attractiveness of Texas A&M; as an institution.”