MANHATTAN, KS (KSNT)- Texas and Oklahoma recently accepted invitations to join the SEC when their contracts with the Big 12 expire in 2025.
K-State fans everywhere want to know how this will affect the Wildcats. The news of the two schools leaving came without warning.
“This not only caught us off guard, us being the conference and other AD’s that were really close to the Oklahoma and Texas AD’s, but it caught other conferences off guard,” K-State athletic director Gene Taylor said in an exclusive interview with KSNT News.
Taylor says the answers fans demand may not be coming any time soon.
“I don’t think it’s going to happen as quickly as a lot of people think it is,” Taylor said. “That’s just my opinion, but it’s also based on some conversations I’ve had with colleagues in other conferences.”
Taylor says there are plenty of reasons why K-State fans don’t need to panic.
“These decisions are largely based on primarily football, and then what is your academic institutional reputation? And certainly, that is very high here,” he said.
He continued with a message to fans.
“I would just tell our fans that we’re a great program,” Taylor said. “We’re going to continue to be a great program, and we’re going to position ourselves for whatever is best for K-State in the future.”
Taylor recalls seeing something similar to this before.
“Ten years ago when this happened, there was a lot of articles that K-State was on the outside looking in and obviously that didn’t happen,” Taylor said.
Big 12 and Pac-12 commissioners met a few weeks ago, but Taylor says it’s important to remember not all the rumors you hear are true.
“There’s a lot of speculation out there, and I can tell you that a lot of those kinds of things that people are speculating on really didn’t happen in that meeting,” he said. “It was really more introductory than anything else.”
Many fans have been concerned about the possibility of losing in-state rivalry games if K-State and KU were to join different conferences. The K-State AD says this isn’t a realistic concern at this point.
“It’s way early,” Taylor said. “Our biggest focus is staying together as the eight [remaining teams] right now.”