By now a lot of you have probably seen the Tulsa World's article relating to the e-mails they requested from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. What you probably have not seen is the nearly 200 pages of e-mails between the two universities. That's what we're for.
For the most part, the e-mails are rather boring and lack significant information. The release has proven that not just the guys on the forums at CycloneFanatic.com can play armchair athletic directors. Numerous Oklahoma fans chimed in that the university should move to the PAC-1_ or the SEC. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the bad blood between Oklahoma and Texas reared its head in these e-mails with numerous fans calling for the removal of all ties between the two schools.
We begin with an e-mail excerpt from Mr. Robert Beall. Unless otherwise stated, all quotes are sic'd:
I would much rather OU try to benchmark its academic programs against UCLA,
Arizona California, and Washington, rather than Kansas State, Iowa State and Texas Tech. Our
academic programs would be greatly help by the association with other universities that are top tier
No one can disagree with the academic stature of UCLA, California or Washington (he forgot Stanford) but lumping in one of the members of the Association of American Universities with two Tier III institutions is just comical. Especially when Oklahoma is not even a member themselves.
More e-mails, including a very "articulate" one, and more follows after the jump.
One of the constant themes developed in the 176 pages released by Oklahoma is how worried Dan Beebe became when he was not in constant contact with Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione.
On September 12th Tim Allen, Senior Associate Commissioner of the Big XII, forwarded on the latest Orangebloods.com report by Chip Brown to Beebe. That article discussed Oklahoma's impending application to join the Pac-12. Beebe forwarded the e-mail to Castiglione and added this:
Please call me about this ASAP.
A conference commissioner so ill-informed and worried about a school leaving that he has to resort to e-mail to confirm a report with a member institution? Pathetic.
Even worse, this came on the heels of an e-mail chain from two weeks earlier regarding Bob Stoops' comments about the Big XII and again Beebe forwarded on an e-mail to Castiglione to get the facts. Maybe failing to pick up the phone got you fired Dan. You deserve a Chizik Coin.
Beebe Fail continues with the following e-mail to Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin and Athletic Director Bill Byrne.
Bowen and Bill:
Of course, my forwarding of the article below is self-serving as I want to submit all
arguments possible for you to stay in the Big 12. This writer outlines what I think are critical
positions for you to consider.
What was the article that Beebe forwarded? This one from Dan Wolken. Wow.
Revisiting Oklahoma's academics, President David Boren finally makes an appearance in an e-mail to the New York Times' Pete Thamel, who reported that PAC-12 schools were concerned about Oklahoma's academics and how they did not fit into the PAC-12 mold:
I have been reading your column for a long time on various athletic subjects and always
learned from them. I have also noted your understanding and knowledge of Oklahoma as a
state. From reading your last two articles, it is clear to me that you have not been brought up
to date on academic developments at the University of Oklahoma over the past few years.
Without regard to other matters, Oklahoma’s academic stature has not been an issue in any
discussions about conference realignment. I wanted to share with you just a few facts.
1. The University of Oklahoma ranks 1st among all public universities in the nation in
National Merit Scholars enrolled. OU had over 200 National Merit Scholars in a
freshman class of 4000 this year.
2. The average ACT score of our entering freshmen this year was in excess of 26 which
compares very favorably with the top public universities across the country.
3. Last year OU gained admission to the top tier of Carnegie ranked research
4. OU is a leading producer of several student scholarships with our 28th Rhodes
Scholar this year and a ranking in the top 15 nationwide in Goldwater Scholars in
math and science for the past dozen years.
5. The number of endowed professorships at OU has grown from approximately 100 to
580 in just 15 years. One of the most rapid increases in the country.
6. The Debate Team has won the national title 3 of the last 5 years.
7. Last year our Drama School swept the National Kennedy Center honors for university
I could list many other areas of progress, but this will give you an idea of our academic
Other conferences which have expressed interest in us have expressed to me that our
academic strength, which has grown dramatically over the last 20 years, has been viewed in
a very positive light.
Since you now live away from Oklahoma I thought you might not be aware of some of the
dramatic changes that have been taking place academically at OU. We feel we have now
realized the dream of Dr. George Cross in building a great university of which the football team can be proud. I am not being critical since I know there perhaps is no reason why you
should have been following these changes.
Defensive Dave, very defensive. This does beg the question, how much did the bigger schools try to control the media versus the media speculating? The Oklahoma State e-mails showed how uninformed they were despite being "partnered" with Oklahoma and Jamie Pollard has consistently said that you have to ignore media speculation during all of the realignment talk.
However, as we just saw above, the higher ups at these universities clearly are paying attention to what is out in the media.
A legit e-mail from Bob Dole, which was mentioned briefly in the in the Tulsa World article:
I was unable to reach you by phone last Friday and I’m not in the office but a few minutes today.
My message is that I hope OU is going to stick with the "Big XII." The central part of the country
can support its own conference. The Big XII is geographically balanced and there has been steady
growth and heritage from the Big 6 to the Big 8 to the present Big 12 Conference. OU is the 800-
pound gorilla and your support is critical. Thank you for your consideration David.
Have a good day.
No doubt he trailed off and fell asleep after writing that e-mail.
Apparently Iowa State joining the Mountain West Conference was not a bad idea after all:
Dear President Boren and Athletic Director Castiglione:
Please look the email below that I sent to the president and ad at Oklahoma State. In the
message I mention that with Texas A&M leaving the BIG 12 by July 2012, instead of
expanding the BIG 12, that your institution along with Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Texas
A&M should join the MWC. The MWC is on the verge of becoming a BCS conference by
2012. With the schools that I have mentioned joining the Mountain West, the MWC would
complete their quest of becoming a BCS conference, competing in the Fiesta Bowl yearly.
With your school and the other three BIG 12 members joining the Mountain West, the MWC
would then have five members in the top 25 going into next year, as your school, Boise State,
Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Texas A&M are in the top 25. So, instead of expanding the
BIG 12 join the MWC by July 2012.
And finally, a gem from a 1970 Oklahoma alumnus regarding ditching Texas:
If Oklahoma stays in the Big 12 after the
way they were used by Texas over the
past year, then I will no longer be a
I can assure you that this is also true for
many Sooner fans.
We are tired of being treated like a
stepchild by Texas. This is why TEXAS
A&M and NEBRASKA LEFT THE
THEY didn't want to be treated like a
Stepchild. I AM INCORRECT, NO THEY
REFUSED TO BE TREATED LIKE A
STEPCHILD.........THAT IS THE CORRECT
WE DO NOT NEED
WE ARE HANGING ONTO A
WHY ARE WE MEETING WITH
TEXAS.........So they can try and convince
us to remain a stepchild.........THAT IS
In fact, that is the definition of
insanity......To continue to try solutions
that always give the wrong results
The rest is pretty boring so feel free to read through the Oklahoma e-mails here and the Oklahoma State e-mails here. One thing that immediately jumped out at me was how little information was here and one can only imagine a lot of this was done through the phone, in person and the centralized filing system the Big XII lawyers set up and is mentioned on Page 31.
Surely more of these e-mails will come to light as other newspapers begin requesting similar information from their local schools. I suppose we'll probably mock those too, but only if something that makes Dan Beebe look inept comes to light.