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Texas, OU officials skip Zoom meeting as eight remaining Big 12 schools ponder what’s next

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby speaks to reporters during NCAA college football Big 12 media days Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Arlington, Texas.

Texas and Oklahoma officials both skipped a hastily called virtual meeting of Big 12 presidents and athletic directors Thursday regarding their possible departure to the Southeastern Conference.

The Big 12 sent notes about the meeting to selected media afterward, framing the discussion in a way as if the eight remaining schools spent time trying to figure out what’s next.

More:Big 12’s request to extend TV rights prompts Texas to look at all options, including SEC

“Sorry can’t help,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the American-Statesman via text late Thursday.

Here are the four main bullet points the Big 12 issued to selected media:

— Oklahoma and Texas are founding members of the Big 12 and we value their traditions and history of success.

— The eight members strongly desire to retain the current composition, which has proven it can compete at the highest levels. 

— There is a recognition that institutions may act in their own self-interest, however there is an expectation that members adhere to Conference bylaws and the enforcement of Grant of Rights agreements. 

— This is a time of dramatic change within intercollegiate athletics that presents both opportunities and challenges, and the Big 12 Conference looks forward to continuing to play a major role in its evolution. 

A UT source said the school has “no intention” of backdooring its way out of contractual obligations. However, it may become a moot point if the remaining eight schools find another conference on their own and the Big 12 dissolves.

The league’s current TV contract extends through the 2024-25 athletic year. The American-Staetsman reported Thursday that the Big 12 wanted its members to sign a five-year extension to 2030. That request triggered Texas and OU’s desire to look at all options, including a possible move to the SEC.

Staff writer Kirk Bohls contributed to this report. 

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.