Oklahoma State President Dr. Kayse Shrum issued a series of statements late Monday afternoon, both touting the school's preparedness to embark on an uncertain athletics future and its dedication to “The State of Oklahoma.”
The comments, issued via Shrum's official Twitter account (@drshrum), outlined the formal decisions of both the University of Oklahoma and University of Texas on Monday to declare their intentions not to move forward with “grant of rights agreements” in 2024-25.
Both the Sooners and Longhorns, per sources and countless reports, as well as the schools' own lack of denials, are targeting membership in the Southeastern Conference.
“We believe these conversations, which developed over a long period of time, are in clear breach of the bylaws of the Big 12 Conference,” Shrum Tweeted, “and broke a bond of trust between our universities in existence for decades.”
Multiple college athletics sources on Monday reiterated to FootballScoop that “There's no chance those two teams (OU, Texas) remain in the Big 12 through 2024-25. This thing is too far down the road.”
That's leaving everyone else scrambling, even as the Mountain West Conference also on Monday issued a very forward-aimed statement that said it was evaluating and exploring all options for the 12-team league's best future interests.
As for Shrum, she ripped the “deliberate, strategic” moves of her rivals and said the decisions clearly were “the result of months of planning with the SEC.”
“It is difficult to understand how an Oklahoma institution of higher education would follow the University of Texas to the detriment of the State of Oklahoma. Nevertheless we are turning our eyes to the future and looking at what is best for Oklahoma State University.”
Shrum, who issued similar statements of condemnation late last week and also touted her institution's athletics prowess as the Big 12 school with the most national championships, also derided the decision of her rivals 50 miles southwest in Norman, Oklahoma, to be led around by Texas.
“It is difficult to understand how an Oklahoma institution of higher education would follow the University of Texas to the detriment of the State of Oklahoma,” Shrum said. “Nevertheless we are turning our eyes to the future and looking at what is best for Oklahoma State University.”