UT Board Chairman: ‘It is happening before our eyes’
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - UT-Austin Board Chairman Kevin Eltife offered his first remarks Thursday night about the pending move of the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma to the Southeastern Conference.
”When you step back and look at the landscape, anyone who knows sports knows conference realignment is happening over the next five years,” Eltife said. “It is inevitable. It is happening before our eyes. There is naming rights for athletes now. There is so much changing in college athletics that you have to pay attention and look to the future.”
Eltife was in attendance at a Texas Exes event in his hometown of Tyler.
“It has been a busy week,” Eltife said. “We will have a board of regents meeting tomorrow and see what happens there.”
The vote to allow the two Big 12 programs an invite into the SEC was passed by a 14-0 vote on Thursday afternoon. There was a thought that Texas A&M would not give their approval but the tone in College Station seemed to change Wednesday when the board voted to let the university’s president vote their support for the move.
“When A&M decided to go to the SEC, three of my senate colleagues asked me to go with them to College Station to talk to John Sharp and talk them out of it,” Eltife said. “It was the same thing we are hearing now that it would hurt the state of Texas and they shouldn’t leave. We had our meeting and as we left I went up to Sharp and said, ‘Look, you need to do what is best for Texas A&M. That is who you represent and if that means going to the SEC then as a state senator I support you. I think maybe I should take my own advice.”
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