The Big 12 announced Thursday that the conference has reached an agreement in principle to allow the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma to leave the conference for the SEC following the conclusion of the 2023-24 athletic year.
Texas and Oklahoma will pay the conference $100 million combined to depart the Big 12 one year earlier than scheduled.
The move is subject to final approval from the school’s governing boards.
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“As I have consistently stated, the conference would only agree to an early withdrawal if it was in our best interest for Oklahoma and Texas to depart prior to June 30, 2025,” Commissioner Brett Yormark said in a statement. “By reaching this agreement, we are now able to accelerate our new beginning as a 12-team league and move forward in earnest with our initiatives and future planning. I appreciate the approaches of OU President Joe Harroz and UT President Jay Hartzell to ensure an amicable conclusion to this process and look forward to the bright days ahead for the Big 12 Conference.”
The Big 12 will welcome four new additions — BYU, Central Florida, Houston and Cincinnati — July 1 to form a 14-team league in 2023-24.
“The Southeastern Conference learned today of the decision by the Big 12 Conference to alter the membership exit date for the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “We are continuing our preparation for this membership transition, and we look forward to welcoming the conference’s new members and moving into our future as a 16-team league.
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“The presidents and chancellors of the SEC previously voted with unanimous approval to accept the application of Oklahoma and Texas to join the conference on July 1, 2025, and have now authorized the conference office to proceed with facilitating the transition of Oklahoma and Texas to become full members of the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2024.”
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College athletics has experienced a seismic shift over the past year as multiple universities have switched conferences.
USC and UCLA announced their moves from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten over the summer.