LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech Chancellor Tedd Mitchell broke the Red Raider silence Thursday evening amid reports that the University of Texas and The University of Oklahoma want to leave the Big 12. The two asked to join the Southeastern Conference (SEC), according to a report by the Houston Chronicle.
“Like many across our state and within the footprint of our league, I’ve been extremely disappointed by the actions and intentions of our friends in Austin and Norman,” Chancellor Mitchell said. “From day one of the Big 12 Conference’s existence, Texas Tech has been a proud and trustworthy partner.”
Mitchell continued, “As the landscape of collegiate athletics shifts, I can promise Red Raider Nation that our leadership will diligently pursue all options to best position Texas Tech for long-term success.”
Prior to Thursday evening, Texas Tech had no comment.
Leaders of schools in the Big 12 held a meeting by telephone late Thursday.
At about 5:20 p.m. (CDT) Sports reporter Brett McMurphy said, “Oklahoma and Texas officials are not currently on the Big 12 call w/league ADs & CEO’s, sources told @Stadium. Perhaps another sign, OU & Texas have decided to leave for SEC.”
Lubbock lawmaker Dustin Burrows raised an objection on Thursday, saying UT spends a lot of state money and moving to another conference should not be done in secret meetings – especially if it harms other Texas schools.
Most observers agree, the loss of UT and OU from the Big 12 would be devastating. Oklahoma State University was already on the record as opposing the move. Texas A&M, which moved into the SEC years ago, also objected.
So far, there has been no official word from the SEC.