MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas’ U.S. Senator Roger Marshall says he wants K-State and KU to end up in the same place, regardless of if they stay or leave the Big 12 Conference like two other schools Monday.
In a joint statement, the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma announced they won’t renew their membership in the Big 12 Conference and will exit in 2025. Speculation indicates the two will head to the SEC. The departure leaves the remaining eight members, including Kansas State University and the University of Kansas, with the option to either try and save the conference or also join other ones.
Marshall believes the departure will already have implications on the Big 12’s leftover members.
“Certainly from a financial standpoint, I think some of the minor sports are going to definitely be impacted by it, football kind of paves the way for everything, and without Oklahoma and Texas, our top two draws for the TV crowds in the Big 12 is going to hurt us,” Marshall said.
Regardless of if they stay or move to another conference, the senator wants Kansas’ two universities to stick together.
“Well keeping them together would of course be my first choice, even in our down years the KU, K-State football game… that football game is still a date that we circle and many Kansans circle it in the same way in basketball,” Marshall said.
Keeping them together would come down to either staying in the Big 12, or the Kansas Board of Regents separately approving both to move to a new one. Neither K-State nor KU have commented on what their intentions are.
For now, Senator Marshall, who holds degrees from both K-State and KU, wishes the best for the days ahead.
“I have full faith and confidence in Kansas State University and the University of Kansas that they both have excellent reputations and that we will land someplace even stronger. You wait and see we will make the best of this,” Marshall said.
K-State is set to open its season on Sept. 4 in Arlington, TX at AT&T Stadium where they will play Stanford. KU will play South Dakota in Lawrence on Sept. 3.