Baylor Releases Statement on Potential Texas and Oklahoma Big 12 Departure

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WACO — Baylor University released a statement Friday for the first time since reports surfaced that Texas and Oklahoma were looking to leave the Big 12 for the SEC.

In a joint statement President Linda Livingstone and Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades said they recognize the impact this could have on the Baylor and Waco Community.

“We understand the significance and urgency of this matter, as our conference membership impacts not only Baylor, but also the Waco community, the state of Texas and beyond,” The statement read. “Conference affiliation has the power to greatly enhance our institution’s academic and athletic national standing and visibility while also expanding academic and research opportunities available to faculty, students and our communities. For our state, it is critical to our economy and Texas’ overall reputation to maintain five “Power Five” institutions, reinforcing the Lone Star State’s athletic preeminence.”

The statement goes on to say that Baylor is exploring their best options moving forward.

“Rest assured, we, along with the Board of Regents, members of the Baylor delegation in the Texas Legislature and other Baylor leaders, are actively engaged in conversations with our Big 12 colleagues and others to ensure our University is in the strongest position possible now and into the future.

The full statement can be found below:

Dear Baylor Family:

As many of you are aware, news broke this week of an alleged change in the Big 12 Conference membership, linking the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma with a possible move to the Southeastern Conference.

Since that time, we have heard many of you express concerns about the uncertainty of our conference and the potential impact on Baylor University – a concern we share with you.

We understand the significance and urgency of this matter, as our conference membership impacts not only Baylor, but also the Waco community, the state of Texas and beyond. Conference affiliation has the power to greatly enhance our institution’s academic and athletic national standing and visibility while also expanding academic and research opportunities available to faculty, students and our communities. For our state, it is critical to our economy and Texas’ overall reputation to maintain five “Power Five” institutions, reinforcing the Lone Star State’s athletic preeminence.

Rest assured, we, along with the Board of Regents, members of the Baylor delegation in the Texas Legislature and other Baylor leaders, are actively engaged in conversations with our Big 12 colleagues and others to ensure our University is in the strongest position possible now and into the future.

In the midst of what promises to be a lot of angst and speculation, we will continue to focus on what we can control and support our student-athletes and staffs. And, as the landscape of college athletics continues to change, we maintain an unshakable belief in the strength and resiliency of Baylor and the Baylor brand.

Thank you for your enduring love of Baylor University and the vital role you play in helping Baylor carry out its Christian mission while competing academically and athletically at the highest levels.

Sincerely,

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
President

Mack B. Rhoades, IV
Vice President
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

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