AD to ‘shield’ A&M in SEC amid Texas, OU report
HOOVER, Ala. — Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork is standing up for his faculty after a Houston Chronicle report that Texas and Oklahoma have reached out to the SEC about becoming a member of the convention.The newspaper cited an unnamed school official and stated an announcement might come inside a few weeks. Each Texas and Oklahoma stated they might not tackle the report.”Hypothesis all the time swirls round collegiate athletics,” a Texas spokesman stated in an announcement. “We is not going to tackle rumors or hypothesis.”Stated Oklahoma in an announcement: “The faculty athletics panorama is shifting consistently. We do not tackle each nameless rumor.”Even so, Bjork stated he can be “diligent in our strategy to guard Texas A&M.””We wish to be the one SEC program within the state of Texas,” Bjork stated. “There is a purpose why Texas A&M left the Huge 12 — to be stand-alone, to have our personal identification.”Texas A&M, together with Missouri, left the Huge 12 to hitch the SEC in 2012.Bjork stated he and fellow SEC athletic administrators had not mentioned bringing Texas and Oklahoma into the convention. The athletic director additionally stated he was unaware of any language in Texas A&M’s take care of the SEC that might prohibit the league from including one other workforce from the state.SEC commissioner Greg Sankey stated he was apprehensive in regards to the 2021 season and did not instantly tackle what he described as a “report from unnamed individuals.””I am not going to touch upon hypothesis,” Sankey stated.Oklahoma State, whereas calling the reviews “unconfirmed,” stated it could be “extraordinarily dissatisfied” in the event that they have been true and would defend its place.”Whereas we place a premium on historical past, loyalty and belief, be assured, we’ll aggressively defend and advance what’s greatest for Oklahoma State and our sturdy athletic program, which continues to excel within the Huge 12 and nationally,” the college stated in an announcement.One potential impediment for such a transfer, at the very least any time quickly, is that Oklahoma and Texas signed a Huge 12 grant-of-rights settlement, by which they granted their first- and second-tier media rights for soccer and males’s basketball to the convention by means of June 30, 2025. Which means the Huge 12 would nonetheless personal these faculties’ media rights for these sports activities — even when they’re now not members — till the settlement expires.The Huge 12’s TV contracts with ESPN and Fox additionally expire in 2025. The Longhorn Community’s take care of ESPN goes by means of 2031.Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher stated, “I guess they might,” when requested what he considered the potential of Texas and Oklahoma in search of to hitch the convention.”I simply fear about A&M, you understand what I imply?” Fisher stated. “Hear, we have now the best league of all. … I do not understand how I really feel about it.”ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Heather Dinich contributed to this report.