During a Thursday night conference call between programs in the Big 12, not named Oklahoma or Texas, commissioner Bob Bowlsby responded to the heightened concerns over losing two premier schools to the SEC conference.
The solution put forward to incentivize UT and OU into staying was a proposed increase in share ownership — bumping both programs a half-share — which would result in $80 million in earnings off the estimated 1.5 shares of total revenue.
What is seen as a last-ditch effort to retain both Oklahoma and Texas, the proposal is set to increase earnings from the $37 million average among Big 12 schools, to $56 million for the two schools.
However, the path en route to the SEC still remains in question. According to college football writer Dennis Dodd, “the Big 12 powers would owe the conference as much as $80 million each should they leave before the current TV rights deal expires.”
Lifting the curtain on their intentions to leave the Big 12 in favor of the SEC, OU and UT will be discussing next steps with the commissioner on Monday. Based on the interest in a new conference expressed by both programs, it appears that Bowlsby may be burning bridges before he gets to burn a hole in the conference purse.