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Saturday, June 22, 2024

At $100M, Oklahoma, Texas Get Release From Big 12

  • Oklahoma and Texas will join the SEC in 2024.
  • Schools join the conference as it enters new TV deal with ESPN.
Oklahoma and Texas joins the SEC early.
Syndication: The Oklahoman

Texas and Oklahoma can leave the Big 12 early after all — they’ll join the SEC in 2024.

The schools were contractually obligated to stay in the Big 12 until 2025. But the Big 12 was able to negotiate a hefty combined exit fee of $100 million to let the Sooners and Longhorns depart early. The fees will be withheld from distribution revenue.

The agreement, which culminates more than a complex year of negotiations, must get final approval from the Texas and Oklahoma governing boards.

SI.com first reported the news of the transaction.

“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.

The SEC started a chain of conference realignment when the conference invited Oklahoma and Texas to join the conference in 2021.

“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.”

A New Era

The 2024 season will be pivotal for big-time college football.

Oklahoma and Texas will now join the SEC in the same year the conference begins its new TV deal with ESPN, and the Big Ten will welcome UCLA and USC. The College Football Playoff will also expand to 12 teams.

Meanwhile, the Big 12 is set to welcome BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF to the fold at the beginning of the 2023 season.

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