Oklahoma State president Kayse Shrum on Sunday weighed in on the latest round of realignment once again and struck arguably her most upbeat tone yet. In a string of tweets, she commended OSU fans for staying Loyal and True amid recent unrest, reiterated the school’s strong athletic standing and recent accomplishments and, for the first time, weighed in on the potential future of the Bedlam series.
“While this is a time of uncertainty in college sports, I view this as a time of opportunity,” she said. “OSU is charting a course for our bright future and will take the necessary time to consider the best path forward, working cooperatively with the Big 12 and its institutions.”
Shrum added Cade Cunningham’s recent selection at No. 1 overall by the Detroit Pistons and the football team’s success as reasons why OSU is “a top contender in the landscape of college athletics and academics.” She then addressed the crimson-tinted elephant in the room.
“Many have asked about the future of Bedlam,” she said. “We enjoy the intensity and tradition whenever we play OU in any sport. Right now, there are too many unknowns to determine what the future holds.”
Shrum’s statement comes after a frenzied week in which both OU and Texas formally accepted invitations to join the SEC. And it comes after OU leadership in particular expressed their desire to keep the Bedlam series alive.
“We want the Bedlam rivalry to continue well past the expiration of this media rights agreement,” OU president Joe Harroz said. “Make no mistake, we want the Bedlam rivalry to continue. Even with this change, we want to play Oklahoma State in every sport in every year.”
While financially the future of the Big 12 — and by extension, OSU and its remaining non-SEC-bound members — remains uncertain, Shrum concluded her string of statements by again emphasizing that OSU remains in a good spot.
“Our athletic program is strong across the board and I have great respect for the dedication and hard work of our student-athletes in the classroom and their sports,” she concluded. “Be assured we will move ahead with purpose, always honoring the principles we live by in the Cowboy Code and doing what is right — even when it’s hard. Go Pokes!”
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