As you can imagine, Bob Bowlsby doesn’t seem thrilled with the way things are going down in college football.
On Monday, the league’s two top football schools, Texas and Oklahoma, informed the conference that they would not renew their rights upon expiration in 2025. The following day, they petitioned the SEC for an invitation to that league.
In a statement earlier this week, Bowlsby alleged that “the two schools have been contemplating and planning the transition for months.” Now, in a cease and desist letter sent to ESPN and obtained by The Athletic and Sports Illustrated, the commissioner accuses the network of playing a role in their joint departure.
“It has come to my direct attention that ESPN, the current business partner of the Big 12 Conference, has taken certain actions that are intended to not only harm the Big 12 Conference but to result in financial benefits for ESPN,” Bowlsby said in the letter.
He later specified how he believes that the network broke its contract with the conference.
“The Big 12 Conference demands that ESPN immediately cease and desist all actions hat may harm the conference and its members and that it not communicate with the Big 12 Conference’s existing members or any other NCAA conference regarding the Big 12 Conference’s members, possible conference realignment, or potential financial incentives or outcomes related to possible conference realignment,” Bowlsby said.
In a statement Tuesday, the SEC said its presidents and chancellors will consider the requests for membership filed by Texas and Oklahoma in the “near future.”