Oklahoma Announces Six-Year Big 12 Reform, Chuck Neinas As Interim Commish

At a Thursday night press conference, University of Oklahoma president David Boren ran through a series of reforms meant to keep the Big 12 conference intact. The most important: the conference has a six-year media rights agreement. Under such a deal, if a school leaves, the conference will retain that school's Tier 1 and Tier 2 media rights until the end of the six-year period.

(That means the Big 12 would continue to get the national or regional television money for the school's football and basketball games. This still would allow the Texas Longhorns to keep the Longhorn Network.)

Boren also announced the Big 12 is looking to expand, "reactivating" its expansion committee. He pointed out Oklahoma gets to remain in a "geographically contiguous" conference that will be better for students and the families of athletes. His bit on a healthy heartland conference being good for America ... that might sound corny and like the kind of thing school presidents say when it concerns the interests of their own schools, but I totally agree with him.

Oh, and that Chuck Neinas will be the new interim commissioner. Boren endeavored to compliment outgoing commissioner Dan Beebe ("decent human being") and noted Neinas recommended "over half of the sitting athletic directors" in the Big 12.

That six-year agreement is significant, because if Texas and Oklahoma actually are happy with the media money coming into the conference, the entire house of cards could actually stand. As Stewart Mandel pointed out, it's "more ironclad than an exit fee." Oklahoma might not actually be happy at all, and could still just be putting the best face on its current situation. That's fine.

For more, stop by Oklahoma Sooners blog Crimson And Cream Machine and Texas Longhorns blog Burnt Orange Nation.

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