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Baylor Basketball

Thursday: Texas-Oklahoma Grant of Rights, Exit Fees update

September 23, 2021

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Thursday 11:10 a.m. CT

On Thursday, sources close to the Big 12 clarified information regarding potential universities on the Big 12’s and provider clarification regarding the Grant of Rights and potential exit fees owed by the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas upon departure for the SEC. 

After initially reporting that Tulane and Southern Miss were potential targets for Big 12 expansion, sources have clarified that neither university is under consideration for joining the league. Southern Miss was one of dozens of other programs to make contact with the league.

Additionally, clarification on Grant of Rights and potential exit fees for Texas and Oklahoma were made.

If the two Universities were to leave the Big 12 for the SEC before the Big 12’s Grant of Rights expire at the end of the 2024-2025 athletic season, each would forfeit financial distributions for each of the remaining years remaining on the contract. The money forfeited would then be distributed to the remaining members of the conference. At this time it is unclear if the forfeited money would also be split among new members of the league. 

The exit fees owed by the two universities equals two years worth of league revenue. It has been reported that combined the two exit fees would fall in the $150 million range, a total that would be distributed to the remaining members of the conference upon the exit by Texas and Oklahoma. 

As SicEm365 Reported yesterday, sources indicate that commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the Big 12 have no intention of discounting or waiving fees for the two departing institutions. 

Wednesday 3:00 p.m. CT

With the recent additions of BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and Houston to the Big 12, speculation and concerns have all but calmed for now, but it is an every day process. There is new information continuing to surface as the Big 12 is looking at its option for a "Chapter 2" with expansion and as I've reported multiple times, Memphis and Boise State are in a very good position to be the next additions to the league.

Memphis was passed over as David Rudd, the University’s outgoing president, didn't want to tie the hands of the incoming president with the demands on a new stadium. The University appears to want the new stadium built on campus, but there are politics involved so stay tuned. 

As the Big 12 was eyeing the current AAC program closely, the league hoped Memphis would say it was all in building the new stadium, but was ultimately to make that commitment with changes at the top. 

Even with that, however, Memphis is still in a very strong position when the league does decide to move forward.

Additionally, traditional Group of 5 Power Boise State still remains very much on the radar. University President Marlene Tromp has Pac-12 ties and Athletic Director Jeramiah Dickey has ties to Big 12 after his time at Baylor.

Tromp isn't expecting a Pac-12 offer, but the situation needs a little marinating. The Big 12 has made it clear when its ready to launch another round of expansion, Boise State can't have delays in responding. 

For now, the biggest snag remains with Texas and Oklahoma as the two Universities continue to say all the right things about leaving after the 2024-2025 Grant of Rights expires. Everyone knows, Texas and Oklahoma know, SEC and Big 12 know that is legal maneuvering and it's smart to say that for now. 

As for the payment owed to the league, the two programs have told the Big 12 that the plan is to pay exit fees over two two large sums. 

The concern from the Big 12 perspective is once the first deposit is made from exit fees, and Texas and OU are released to join SEC early, the second deposit from the exit fees will get tied up in court and the future of the second payment will be up in the air.

However, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby will not allow a first payment and being told that "the second check is in the mail,” according to sources close to the situation.

The Big 12 will remain patient, sources said, and if it does not receive the full exit fees based on departure time, it will not give in to the total amount owed. For now, if the full amount for two or three years isn't paid upfront, sources say the Big 12 won't budge and Texas and Oklahoma will remain in the league until the Grant of Rights expires.

Could the Big 12 add beyond Memphis and Boise State?

Other than Memphis and Boise State being next in line, look for visits and/or discussions to take place with Tulane, SMU and possibly even Southern Mississippi. Sources say there's a method to this madness and while on the surface many won't see or understand the appeal, ESPN will have its hand in which teams would be added.

Despite animosity or legal maneuvering, the Big 12, Texas, OU, SEC and ESPN will need in some way to work together to make this happen sooner rather than later. 

Don't overlook Texas wanting to make it feel or look like they have something on the Big 12, but bottom line is that Texas has all the money to spend and will spend it if it comes down to being the last hurdle. 

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Finally, there is simmering that some universities within the Pac-12 are monitoring the Big 12's expansion efforts and have even informed the right people of the matter. According to sources, however, the Big 12 and Pac-12 have for now promised not to look at respective teams.

Bowlsby doesn't want to wait any longer and surely doesn't want to wait on what else the Pac 12 decides to do. Speculation continues to circle around the same group of Pac-12 programs that might be watching Big 12's future and the four appear to be tied in all future decisions.

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