Boren Says Sooners Will Decide In Three Weeks

NORMAN, Okla. — Nebraska and Colorado are out, Texas A&M is out, and Oklahoma could be next.

At least, President David L. Boren wouldn't rule it out as he spoke with reporters shortly after OU broke ground on its new $75 million athletic dormitory, Headington Hall.

Boren said the Sooners are exercising all options in order to make the decision that is most suitable for the OU.

"Our main responsibility is to protect the interest of the University of Oklahoma, do what's in the long term interest of the university and our athletics program, our fans," Boren said. "And that's exactly what we're going to attempt to do."

And that hush around Norman--although Boren addressed the media, athletic director Joe Castiglione declined comment--it's all part of the plan.

"While we've not been saying much in public--[it's] frankly on purpose because we're at the sensitive point of discussions among schools that I think too much said in public reduces the chance of success of our goals rather than enhances it," Boren said. "So, I really can't say much more than that except to say that while we have been relatively and perhaps unusually quiet in terms of our public announcements, that's to keep open and to study the best options for us and to not lock ourselves into a course of action until we know what's best for the university.

Will OU save the Big 12?

Or will it bolt to the Pac-12? SEC? Big Ten?

"We have interest from other conferences, other universities, and it's really a tribute to the strength of our program at the University of Oklahoma that there is so much interest in us," Boren said. "And so we have to carefully evaluate the various comments that are being made to us and various possibilities that have been shown to us before we decide what's best for the university to do."

Whatever they do, it'll be fairly prompt, though.

"I don't know how long it will be before clarity comes to us," Boren said. "My experience is that on these kinds of things, it might be a matter of 72 hours, it might be a matter of two weeks."

And for Boren himself, sooner might be better than later, no pun on the words.

"It's been consuming my life the last few days, but it's a fascinating challenge," Boren said. "And we're just in the search for what's best for the university."

It could be any of the above options, all of which are still speculation at this point.

"Well, I think if I started discussing too much detail, I'd compromise it," Boren said.

He did make plainly clear what he wants out of the current Big 12 Conference if it stands and expands or another if they choose that route.

"But we obviously want stability in our conference relationships," Boren said. "We want partners that are both outstanding athletically and academically as well because a conference that's strong is not only stable, but it's one in which there are multiple relationships along with sports between the university members."

That lack of stability, in the Big 12 as it is, is something that really has been a letdown for Boren.

"I hoped we had stability," Boren said. "I guess I'm just disappointed that the original Big 12 is not still the same Big 12. I was extremely disappointed when Nebraska departed. I was disappointed when Colorado departed.

"Obviously, as you've tracked my plane flying here and there, you know that I would be disappointed that Texas A&M left and we were certainly--I was personally involved in trying to see if there was some way that that would not happen. So, it is a disappointment that those schools have left and then that we face the challenge that we do today."

One thing's for sure, however: Boren sees OU's stability and the likelihood it'll land in a good place as a certain.

"I'll just put it this way, and I think we've already been, we've been ever since we became a member of this conference, a very influential member of the conference," Boren said. "And I think we remain a very influential member of the conference, for the conference. I'll just put it that way.

"And [we're] influential not only in this conference but influential in athletics across the country. So, it's a tribute to the strength of this program that--I'll put it this way--I don't think there's any chance that OU's going to end up being a wallflower."

Wherever OU ends up, it sounds like Sooner Nation and the rest of the college football landscape will soon know.

Complete interview with Boren:

Follow me at or

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories