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OU football: Sooners, Texas presidents meet with Big 12 Executive Committee in light of reports for SEC departure

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Sooners defense

The Sooners defense celebrates after making a tackle during the Bedlam game against Oklahoma State on Nov. 21.

The Big 12 Executive Committee met with Oklahoma President Joseph Harroz and Texas President Jay Hartzell on Sunday to discuss strengthening the conference in light of reports of both schools leaving for the SEC. 

“The meeting was cordial," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated in the press release. "And the Executive Committee expressed a willingness to discuss proposals that would strengthen the conference and be mutually beneficial to OU and UT, as well as the other member institutions of the conference.

"I expect that we will continue our conversations in the days ahead and we look forward to discussing thoughts, ideas and concepts that may be of shared interest and impact.”

The Big 12 held a previous meeting on Thursday to discuss the future of the conference, however OU and Texas officials didn't attend, although the other eight schools were present. 

Both OU and Texas are planning to inform the Big 12 that it won't renew with the conference when its grant of rights expire in 2025, according to Horns247's Chip Brown, which was later confirmed by The Athletic's Sam Khan. According to the reports, both schools could inform the conference as early as Monday. 

Original reports of the two schools leaving the conference for the SEC surfaced from Houston Chronicle's Brent Zwerneman on Wednesday, and the report stated that the Sooners and Longhorns inquired about joining the SEC. Later that day, the Sooners released the following statement: "The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don't address every anonymous rumor."

Oklahoma and Texas were original members of the Big 12 when it was founded in 1994. The Sooners have won 14 conference championships since 1996 when Big 12 play started. The Longhorns rank second since then with three.

Austin Curtright is a journalism junior and one of The Daily's assistant sports editors. He covers OU football and has previously covered OU men's basketball, softball and soccer.

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