Oklahoma's Boren: No plans to leave Big 12 'right now'

Photo of Oklahoma's Boren: No plans to leave Big 12 'right now'

Oklahoma president David Boren said Thursday his school isn't looking, nor does it have designs, to leave the Big 12 in the near future.

"We wouldn’t walk away from the Big 12 lightly, I'll put it that way," he told Guerin Emig of the Tulsa World. "We don't have any plans to leave right now. There's not any active conversation going on."

Boren's assertion came amid speculation to the contrary, much of which has been stirred by ESPN personality Paul Finebaum, who said earlier this week that Oklahoma wants out of the conference "pretty desperately."

"Oh, no, no, no," Boren said, responding to Finebaum's claim. "I would say no."

The relationship between Boren's Sooners and the conference to which it belongs hasn't always been fluid. Last summer, the 76-year-old strongly advocated for league expansion and a Big 12 media network, but neither came to fruition. Boren repeatedly questioned the long-term viability of his conference under the status quo.

"We're not desperate to go anywhere else," he said Thursday.

"... I would just say that we're, at this point in time, hoping the Big 12 will improve and succeed."

Boren, however, didn't close the door on the possibility of Oklahoma migrating to another conference at some point, noticeably attaching words like "right now" or "at this point in time" to his claims that the Sooners are seeking a new home.

"I think we're really looking ahead at a whole wave of realignment as these (Power 5 conferences' media rights) contracts come to an end," he said. "I think we're four or five years away from it."

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