Sooners will stay in Big 12

Published 1:00 am Friday, May 14, 2010

NORMAN, Okla. — University president David Boren expects Oklahoma to stay in the Big 12. He doesn’t think any other schools are leaving the conference either.

Following a disputed report that fellow Big 12 members Nebraska and Missouri had been offered the chance to join the Big Ten, Boren told The Associated Press on Thursday that he believes “if any member decided to leave, they would regret it later on.”

“We’re very happy with the Big 12 Conference and we certainly expect to stay in the Big 12 Conference,” Boren said. “I was sort of shocked to read speculation that OU might leave the Big 12 Conference. Certainly not.

“And I really think that the likelihood of any of the schools leaving the conference is really being blown out of proportion. I think the conference will stay intact.”

Boren said Big 12 schools are contemplating ways to bridge a revenue gap that has the Big Ten and Southeastern conferences providing member schools with a higher annual payout, including starting its own leaguewide network. But he pointed out that the nation’s economic picture has changed since the Big Ten launched its lucrative cable network, which allows the conference to pay its schools about $22 million per year — millions more than Big 12 schools receive.