WVU AD reacts to OU & Texas Big 12 departure
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - What was rumor is now fact in the Big 12 Conference with Oklahoma and Texas leaving the league when they decided not to renew the league’s grant of media rights following its expiration in 2025. They could depart sooner if they pay a penalty that costs in the tens of millions or if the Big 12 Conference dissovles.
Monday evening, West Virginia Director of Athletics Shane Lyons released this statement concerning the situation.
“For the past nine years, West Virginia University has been a loyal member of the Big 12 Conference. We have valued the partnership with the other nine members and have served the league as a prestigious academic institution and a nationally recognized athletics program. We are disappointed that two of our Big 12 institutions have indicated their intent not to extend their media rights beyond 2025. West Virginia University’s top priority continues to be our student-athletes. We are focused on ensuring that we provide opportunities to elevate their academic and athletic experiences at WVU. However, in addition to our student-athletes, we also understand the impact this announcement has on our University, our state and our Mountaineer fans around the world.
We will continue to be highly engaged and extremely diligent in finding connections that strengthen our academic mission and allow our student-athletes to thrive in one of the most successful athletics programs in the country. WVU is proud to be a proven academic leader ranking at the highest level of research activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In fact, we are among a select few that are land-grant, doctoral research universities with a comprehensive medical school. The University’s faculty are increasingly recognized for excellence, and our legacy of student achievement includes 25 Rhodes Scholars, 25 Truman Scholars, 46 Goldwater Scholars.
We also are proud that during these past nine years, our athletic programs have competed at the highest levels, winning multiple championships and crowning numerous student-athletes on the biggest stage of their respective sports. We have excelled in the classroom and built an infrastructure that is attracting elite student-athletes world-wide. We have created an atmosphere of Mountaineer hospitality, rooted in sportsmanship and fellowship. We thank each one of you for being a part of what makes Mountaineer Nation so special.
As was stated earlier by the Big 12 Conference, athletics is an ever-changing landscape. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Big 12 and across the country to navigate this new terrain. Together, we will continue to Climb Higher!”
WVU begins the Big 12 portion of their schedule by going to Norman on September 25th.
Copyright 2021 WSAZ. All rights reserved.