AUSTIN (KXAN) — Steve Sarkisian and Big 12 Conference commissioner Brett Yormark won’t be eating turkey and watching football together while Yormark is in Austin for Thanksgiving.
In his first game week press conference Monday, Sarkisian responded to Yormark’s comments while at a Texas Tech football booster function, saying to Red Raiders head coach Joey Maguire, “you better take care of business like you did right here in Lubbock last year.”
With Texas leaving the Big 12 after this season for the Southeastern Conference, the comment didn’t seem like innocent banter or Yormark playing to his audience, and Sarkisian was delicate with his response.
“I got a letter from the commissioner about sportsmanship the day before that speech,” Sarkisian said. “So I’m trying to figure out what we’re promoting for our student-athletes, and then to go say those types of things. I’m guessing he’s not going to have his Thanksgiving dinner with us that evening.”
Yormark continued with the audience full of Red Raiders boosters, saying he was happy the Longhorns and Sooners were leaving a year earlier than planned.
“Candidly, we were able to get Texas and Oklahoma out a year early. That was a big deal for us, and I think all of you,” he said.
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Texas Tech and the Longhorns play the day after Thanksgiving at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium in the final game of the Big 12 schedule. For Texas Tech, it’ll just be the last Big 12 game of the season until 2024. For the Longhorns, it’s the last Big 12 game for the foreseeable future.
The Red Raiders beat the Longhorns in overtime last season in Lubbock.
“Let’s not make this more than it is,” Sarkisian said. “This is about us, and we’re focused on what we get to do and why we get to do it. We’re proud to be part of the University of Texas.”
With the Big 12 at 14 teams this season with the addition of BYU, Cincinnati, Central Florida and Houston, it will grow to 16 teams once Texas and Oklahoma depart and former Pac-12 members Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah join next year.