Big 12 splitting? K-State & Board of Regents discuss what’s next

Local Sports

MANHATTAN (KSNT) – With the fate of the Big 12 Conference for college sports uncertain, the Kansas Board of Regents has laid out Monday what could happen next.

K-State Athletics Director Gene Taylor and K-State University President Richard Myers came together to put out a statement regarding the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma deciding to leave the Big 12.

“Kansas State University and the additional seven members of the Big 12 Conference are eager to collaborate and position ourselves for continued success. We have terrific leadership at the conference, university and state board of regent levels, and our fans should know that every effort is being made to put Kansas State and the Big 12 Conference in the best position moving forward.”

Gene Taylor and Richard Myers

Both K-State and KU joined the Big 12 when it expanded in 1996. While the statement from K-State doesn’t imply it has any plans to leave the remaining members of the Big 12 Conference, the Kansas Board of Regents did tell KSNT News how the two state universities could switch conferences, if they wanted.

“The Regents recognize the importance of conference affiliation for the experience of all students and have Board policy to ensure that conference membership supports our strategic goals. Per that policy, if any state university wishes to change athletic conferences, the university CEO must obtain expedited approval from the Board Chair and President & CEO prior to entering any negotiations. This provides important Board oversight, while also protecting the time sensitive and confidential nature of these negotiations. [University of Kansas] Chancellor Girod and President Myers will seek approval from Board leadership prior to beginning any negotiations, and we will inform the public at the appropriate time of any such request. We will continue to work with the university leaders to prioritize the fiscal stability and academic standards of our universities consistent with the goals of our strategic plan to support Kansas families, businesses and economic prosperity.”

Cheryl Harrison-Lee, Kansas Board of Regents

The nine people in the Kansas Board of Regents govern over the state’s six public universities, and helps oversee the state’s single municipal university, 19 community colleges and six technical colleges.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s spokesperson also joined in the Big 12 commentary, saying the state of Kansas is in good hands with its academic leadership for college sports.

“Governor Kelly appreciates the Big 12 remaining committed to the continued success both academically and athletically for members of the conference. She and her office are in regular communication with KU, KSU, the Kansas Board of Regents, and the Big 12 Conference to ensure our universities and the state of Kansas will be in the best possible position following the decision from UT and OU.”

Reeves Oyster, Kansas Governor’s Office

The Big 12 Conference’s commissioner said it received official notice from OU and UT Monday that both universities “do not intend to extend their Grant of Rights when the current agreement expires on June 30, 2025.”

“…We recognize that intercollegiate athletics is experiencing rapid change and will most likely look much different in 2025 than it does currently. The Big 12 Conference will continue to support our member institutions’ efforts to graduate student-athletes, and compete for Big 12 and NCAA championships. Like many others, we will use the next four years to fully assess what the landscape will look like in 2025 and beyond. “

Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Conference Commissioner

With OU and UT out, and if the remaining Big 12 schools all stay, the conference will keep the following members:

  • Baylor University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Kansas
  • Kansas State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Texas Christian University
  • Texas Tech University
  • West Virginia University

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