Where Now For OSU? It's in Hargis' Hands

You know Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis is like a five-tool baseball prospect. For that baseball super stud he can throw, field, run, hit for average, and hit for power. It would be nice if Cowboys baseball coach Frank Anderson could recruit a whole bunch of those guys.

As University Presidents go Hargis has a legal background, business experience and acumen from his days with Bank of Oklahoma, political savvy as both an elected official and a candidate, and now with his days at Oklahoma State he has added the educational experience. Today the Oklahoma State Board of Regents showed their confidence in Hargis by unanimously voting to give him the power to decide the school's athletic conference affiliation.

One thing Hargis has done throughout this is be reserved in his comments and that is a good thing. The more you have to say sometimes the more people find something wrong and this situation has been extremely volatile. Following today's move by the OSU Regents, Hargis spoke and he spoke eloquently. He tapped into his five-tools and gave the pack of media plenty to chew on, but nothing they or any schools or conferences out there could use against him. That would be his political skills coming to light.

Hargis said he wished the whole issue of conference realignment had been decided this morning. You can tell it is wearing on him as it is other school presidents, but Hargis, who feels very good about Oklahoma State's potential and positioning right now, said he is seeking stability.

"Stability is where we are all committed to the same future in terms of our TV contracts as well as other governance issues within the conference, whatever conference," stated Hargis. "I think the stability issue and I think there are a lot of issues that we need to address. I think revenue sharing is an important issue. I think the issue of grant of rights for television contracts is another. Most of them have been reported in the press. I am optimistic that we are going to get somewhere on this."

Asked about the seemingly surprising development of the Pac-12 voting not to expand when it appeared that Oklahoma State along with OU were going west, Hargis answered with a common sense line.

"I think if we've learned anything in this is that you shouldn't spend the money until the check clears," said Hargis with a smile on his face. Translation: hold your horses, the game changes in a hurry.

Hargis did confirm the relationship with the University of Oklahoma in realignment.

"We're both going to look out for our institutions, but we are both going to look out for what's best for (all of) Oklahoma as well," said Hargis. "We believe that the best interest of Oklahoma and our institutions is to stay united in these matters. We've had very steady dialogue over the last couple of weeks with every aspect of this. I have enormous respect for President Boren, their institution, their leadership, and their programs. I think that is reciprocated. We are going to be united on this and whatever ends up happening it is going to be a joint decision on part."

When asked, Hargis said he did not want to discuss the future of Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe saying, "I don't like to discuss personnel issues on the record."

A source to Go Pokes said that may be unnecessary as Beebe's secretary was seen crying while coming out his office today in at the Big 12 Conference headquarters in Dallas. Nothing definitive there, but it doesn't look good for Beebe, who just a month ago was sitting on stage and bragging on the conference and the togetherness in the league in front of media and school officials at Big 12 Media Days.

Hargis was also asked when the Big 12 Presidents will meet again and he said it could be as soon as Thursday. Our source again says that will happen but it is uncertain if it will be in person or by teleconference. Our source said, either way, it could be one of the most important discussions ever with Texas and the Longhorn Network, seemingly the central problem in this latest round of instability in the Big 12, at the center of the agenda.

Hargis had no comment on any of those issues including the Longhorn Network. We think that it may be kind of like the personnel issues, better discussed in private with the parties concerned.

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