Thursday December 7, 2023

Texas, Oklahoma’s Big 12 Exit Could Have Cost $60M More

  • Texas and Oklahoma are leaving the Big 12 in 2024 and joining the SEC a year earlier than planned.
  • The move is costing the schools $100 million, but it could have been more.
Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK
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For Texas and Oklahoma, the price of leaving the Big 12 in 2024 and joining the SEC a year early could’ve been much higher.

In 2021, when the two schools announced their decisions to leave the Big 12 in 2025, reports pointed to $160 million in forfeited TV revenue if the Longhorns and Sooners joined the SEC any earlier. However, earlier this year, when the Big 12 announced Texas and Oklahoma would depart in 2024, the cost was stated as $100 million combined.

Now, new details of the buyout reported by USA Today are showing the convoluted nature of the agreement — and frustration from remaining Big 12 members.

Texas and Oklahoma have continued to receive full revenue shares, despite conference bylaws calling for two years’ worth of money to be withheld in the event of an early exit. Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor said that the Big 12’s lawyers told the conference its bylaws weren’t as “rock solid” as thought, and they “could be tied up on lawsuits forever.”

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard confirmed that had the bylaws been fully enforced, it would’ve indeed cost that combined $160 million. “I think we’re at 65% of that,” he said.

Pac-12 Answers Coming Soon?

Elsewhere in conference realignment, Washington State and Oregon State leaders said they expect to have answers on their schools’ futures within the next month.

The schools have filed a lawsuit against the Pac-12 and commissioner George Kliavkoff asking for a court to affirm they have control of the conference with the other 10 members departing after this season.

WSU and OSU are also linked to a proposal for a system of promotion and relegation involving 24 FBS teams from the Mountain West, AAC, and other conferences.

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