The board of regents in Texas and Oklahoma unanimously voted to formally settle for an invite to hitch the SEC, the college introduced Friday.
The Oklahoma Board of Regents unanimously accepted the Sooners’ eventual transfer to the SEC throughout a gathering on Friday, shortly after the Longhorns did the identical. It places a bow on every week of formalities that can finally make the SEC the primary 16-team superconference.
“That is the best determination on the proper time for the way forward for our UT athletics applications,” Texas president Jay Hartzell mentioned in a press release.
The subsequent step is to find out when the transfer will turn into a actuality — and what occurs to the eight Huge 12 colleges left behind. On Monday, Texas and Oklahoma issued a joint assertion saying that they intend to stay within the Huge 12 by way of June 30, 2025, when the present Huge 12 media rights deal expires — nevertheless it’s doable that the faculties will try to exit sooner. Every college must pay a penalty of at the very least $75 million to $80 million to interrupt that settlement or hope that the Huge 12 dissolves earlier than the contract expires.
“We informed the Huge 12 that we intend to honor our present settlement,” Hartzell mentioned, “whereas figuring out that discover now’s the fairest option to permit the convention to plan for its future past 2025.”
OU president Joseph Harroz Jr. and athletics director Joe Castiglione mentioned OU additionally deliberate to honor its dedication to the Huge 12 by way of June 2025.
“After thorough consideration and examine, it grew to become apparent that standing pat would falling behind,” Castiglione mentioned. “It will imply placing our program in a precarious place, each competitively and financially. It will go away us to play catch-up with our competitors.”
Harroz and Castiglione mentioned they hoped to proceed the Bedlam rivalry with Oklahoma State past the expiration of the Huge 12 media rights deal, and that they plan to maintain enjoying Texas in Dallas.
Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte, who has declined public remark so far, confirmed his enthusiasm for the vote.
“In the present day is an thrilling day,” Del Conte mentioned. “There’s loads of alternative on the horizon, and we really feel nice about our future. So, as we head into Huge 12 motion this fall, we’ll be competing as laborious as ever, striving to be champions on and off the sector, and representing our league with the pleasure and keenness that epitomizes our Texas Longhorns. We now have a wealthy custom and historical past, and we are going to proceed to compete proudly as members of the Huge 12 as we put together for our future within the SEC in 2025.”
Harroz Jr. mentioned it grew to become clear to the OU administration that the Huge 12 was “final in line” when it got here to media rights negotiations. He famous the 11 a.m. kickoff for convention soccer video games.
“It interprets to disadvantages in recruiting of prime expertise, disadvantages for our student-athletes and a detriment to the fan expertise,” Harroz Jr. mentioned.
On Thursday, the 14 SEC presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to increase invites to Huge 12 co-founders Oklahoma and Texas to hitch the league.
“In the present day’s unanimous vote is each a testomony to the SEC’s longstanding spirit of unity and mutual cooperation, in addition to a recognition of the excellent legacies of educational and athletic excellence established by the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey mentioned in a press release launched Thursday.
Huge 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who on Wednesday accused ESPN of “manipulating different conferences to go after our members,” mentioned Thursday that the SEC’s announcement “reaffirms that these plans have been within the works with ongoing discussions between the events and tv accomplice for a while.”
“We’re disillusioned these discussions went so far as they did with out discover to, or inclusion of, different Huge 12 members,” Bowlsby mentioned in his assertion. “Regardless of our issues for the method and for the general well being of school athletics, we are going to do every thing doable to be sure that the student-athletes at each universities take pleasure in a wonderful expertise all through the remaining 4 years of their participation and competitors within the Huge 12 Convention.”
ESPN responded to Bowlsby’s allegations earlier Thursday, saying that it “engaged in no wrongful conduct.”