Boren Given Authority to Decide on Conference

TULSA — The OU Board of Regents has given President David L. Boren the power to "take any and all actions appropriate and necessary to effectuate such athletic conference membership that may be in the best interest of the University of Oklahoma."

Unlike many reports suggested, a decision has not yet been finalized today on whether or not the Sooners will remain as members of the Big 12 Conference or instead seek out entrance to the Pac-12 Conference, Boren said.

He has only been given the power to further examine what is in the best interest of OU, and there has been no unanimous declaration by the BOR to act one way or the other.

"I want to make it very clear this is not a Texas A&M like situation where when the regents voted to give authority to the president, everyone was aware of the fact they were giving authority and direction to the president to take action to move to the SEC," Boren said. "That's not this situation here. The regents have not given me authority and direction to proceed to make a particular decision.

"This is not an announcement by the University of Oklahoma that we are leaving to go to the Pac-12. This is not an announcement by the University of Oklahoma that we are taking off the table the option of moving to the Pac-12. So, no one should read into our action today that we have made a decision on either course of action."

Boren originally said back on Sept. 2 that a decision would come within 72 hours (three days) to three weeks, but added this afternoon that he also said it could be three months, although that wasn't reported.

However, he said the decision will still come fairly promptly.

"I don't think it should be that long obviously so that we can all go back to focusing on our other and our principle mission at universities and so we can get this settled," Boren said. "I think for us to act sooner rather than later is better."

Stability in the conference is the main deciding factor on which route Boren will take.

"We are going to make a decision about our future in terms of conference realignment based upon what we feel is in the best long term interest of The University of Oklahoma," Boren said. "That's the criteria. That's our goal." Very important to us as we consider the most appropriate step for us to take is long term stability for the university within a conference framework."

Lack of stability is something that Boren said just simply cannot continue to be an issue.

"We do not want to continue to have these kinds of situations where our membership in a conference is still undecided and has to be revisited every year," Boren said. "The stability of the conference has to be revisited every year, so we're still looking very carefully at our options."

Still, what is most suitable for the athletes and fans is also under consideration.

"Surely, absolutely, I mean, I think that's extremely important," Boren said. "But you have to look at it this way. One of the most important things for our fans and for our students is for us to be a member of a stable conference so we do not continue to have distracting dramas about the conference itself."

That means his and everyone else's question about the potential lack of stability of the Big 12 weighed against possible late night action due to time zone differentials and further travel distances for fans will impact the decision.

Stay tuned with SoonersIllustrated.com as more information becomes available.

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