Oklahoma cleared the way Monday for its possible departure from the Big 12, with university president David Boren demanding the league move toward an equal revenue-sharing model and create stability or else lose the Sooners to the Pac-12.
Rival Texas also moved closer to the door, raising the prospect that one of the nation’s biggest conferences could lose its two richest, most powerful programs.
After being granted the power to choose a new conference home for the Sooners, Boren said he is focused on only two options: a fractured Big 12 that isn’t currently suitable or the expanding Pac-12, which already claimed Oklahoma’s conference rival, Colorado, last summer.
Texas counterpart Bill Powers, granted similar decision-making power by his regents less than an hour later, said he would consider options “including continued participation in the Big 12” but made no mention of the Pac-12, the ACC, or any other potential destinations.
The Big 12 has moved to the brink of extinction just one summer after the remaining 10 members pledged to stick together, then hammered out a $1.2 billion television contract. They decided not to create a conference network similar to the ones in place by the Big Ten and Pac-12, not to split revenue equally, and not to create any barriers to Texas’ creation of the Longhorn Network through a 20-year, $300 million agreement with ESPN that proved to be divisive.
Stoops gets extension
TULSA, Okla. — Two days after winning one of the college football season’s early marquee games, Bob Stoops was rewarded with a new contract extension that could keep him as the coach of top-ranked Oklahoma through 2018 and pay him $34.5 million over the next seven years.
Oklahoma’s board of regents voted to give Stoops a $75,000 bump in his annual salary and a handful of bonuses that will reward him for staying in Norman each June — after the coaching carousel has usually run its course.
The deal calls for Stoops’ paydays to grow over the years, topping out at $5.15 million in salary and bonuses over the final three years. He was already one of the highest-paid coaches in the country, making $30 million over the course of a previous seven-year deal approved in 2009.
The extension made no changes to his salary for this year, when he is set to make $4.875 million, including an $800,000 bonus he received on Jan. 1.