AUSTIN, Texas — Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the conference’s remaining schools would take a significant financial hit after the University of Texas and Oklahoma University officially leave for the SEC.
Bowlsby made the comments Monday at a hearing of the Texas Senate’s Select Committee on the Future of College Sports in Texas.
He said that Oklahoma and Texas are responsible for roughly 50 percent of the value of the Big 12’s television rights deal. The Big 12 distributed $35 million to each of its schools last year, $28 million of which was from television rights. That figure was impacted by COVID-19, Bowlsby said.
With Texas and OU out of the picture by the time the grant of rights agreement expires in 2025, $14 million of that could be gone.
The two departing schools said they would stick with the Big 12 through mid-2025, but Bowlsby said he was skeptical that that happens.
“Knowing what they have said about their adherence to the grant of rights and seeing what has happened with the remaining elements of the departure, one can understand our skepticism about the sincerity of their now-stated intentions to play with us and participate through 2024-25,” he said.
Several speakers at the hearing expressed their displeasure with how Texas and Oklahoma handled their exit from the conference, including Bowlsby.
“Regrettably and inappropriately these two universities chose to ignore their prior commitments and instead moved ahead to deceive and undermine the institutions to which they pledged their loyalty,” he said.
Senator Charles Perry added that he wished the universities had been more up-front with how they handled the departure.
“All of us on this panel can agree that at minimum it wasn’t transparent, if not under the table in self-dealing that we would not expect from our university system,” Senator Charles Perry said.
You can watch the hearing, or a replay of it after it ends, HERE.