The tail wagging the dog…
I have often wondered why OU can’t go to the bathroom without OSU tagging along. With some time off this summer, I decided to research the question for myself. Now, I wish I had left well enough alone.
As we know Oklahoma is notorious for back room politics. The most powerful people in the state spend their days hanging out at the big house on Lincoln Boulevard. With rural legislators leading the way these guys have a ton of clout in this state and tend to wear orange on game days.
In addition to the deck being stacked against OU by state legislators, we also get it from the governor’s mansion as well. Oklahoma governors appoint OU Regents. The bad news is that the last two governors have been OSU grads. That’s right, when the fox lives in the hen house; there will be chicken for dinner every time.
The current batch of OU Regents bears out this story. Over the past two years, we lost two OU stalwarts in Clay Bennett and Kirk Humphreys from the Board. As you might imagine, these two guys were appointed by OU grads. It has gone downhill from there.
As for the current batch of OU Regents I can count three that might be loyal to OU. Two others have a limited connection to The University and then we have the last two. One Regent appointed by Mary Fallin has no connection to OU whatsoever and one Regent graduated from OSU. Making matters worse is the fact that OU Regent Valerie Shirley also served as president at OSU/OKC. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
Okay, that’s the bad news; the good news is that we now know why OU has been a dysfunctional mess for the past two years. We also know why OU looked to Stillwater before making any conference re-alignment decisions three years ago. Expect the same in 2024.
I for one would like to make my own bed instead of having an Aggie do it for me, but having lived here all my life, I am not hopeful that this will happen. I know Oklahoma politics all too well.
All the more reason to kick some Aggie butt whenever we get the chance.