Lubbock State Rep Files Bill to Require Longhorns Get Legislative Approval to Leave Big 12
A Lubbock state rep introduced a bill on Friday to the Texas Legislature to require state schools to get a majority vote in both state chambers in order to change collegiate athletic conferences.
House Bill 298 was filed by Lubbock Representative Dustin Borrows.
“Texas lauds some of the finest universities and athletic programs in the nation,” Rep. Burrows said. “Their impact reaches far beyond their superiority in the classroom, distinction in research, and excellence on the field. They play a significant role in the economic development, tourism, and overall prominence of their respective regions.”
The University of Texas and Oklahoma University are currently in discussions to leave the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference. Texas A&M and Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2011.
A move by Texas and Oklahoma, who have the two largest athletic budgets in the conference, would leave the remaining schools scrambling for new members or a new conference home.
Texas Tech, TCU and Baylor comprise three of the four Texas schools in the 10-member conference. Last week, the remaining eight members of the conference held a conference call to discuss contingency plans should Texas and Oklahoma bolt for the SEC. And on Sunday night, the Big 12 executive committee met with the presidents of the University of Texas and Oklahoma University.
The bill introduced in the Texas legislature if passed would at least put a hold on the Longhorns plans to leave the Big 12. A hold up to the bill's passage right now though is the current absence of Democrats at the Texas Legislature.
One of the joint authors of the bill, Representative Jeff Leach says conference realignments can “have monumental impacts on the entire State of Texas.”
“For some communities and business owners, and certainly for our universities, the effects could be devastating,” Rep. Leach stated. “Such important decisions must not be made by a select few behind closed doors, nor should they be unduly impacted by out-of-state interests who have little care or concern for the people of Texas.”
So, what do you think? Should the University of Texas or any other school in the state be required to get legislative approval to change conference affiliation? Give us your opinion on Facebook or chat with us on our station app.