The SEC extended official invitations to Oklahoma and Texas on Thursday, and the schools voted to accept the SEC’s welcome on Friday at separate board of regents meetings.
Both votes were unanimous, following a week of official proceedings. On Monday, OU and Texas informed the Big 12 they would not renew their rights deals when they came up in 2025. On Tuesday, the schools officially applied for admission into the SEC before Thursday’s official invites were sent.
This comes after news broke last week that OU and Texas inquired about joining the SEC, talks that had reportedly gone on since “late December/early January.” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has been none too pleased over recent days, alleging ESPN has worked at the detriment to the Big 12 in order to disband the league, allowing for OU and Texas to jump conference’s before the current rights deal is up in 2025.
The year 2025 has been a big talking point throughout this. The inivites the SEC sent to the two schools are effective July 1, 2025, and 2025 was mentioned throughout both sets of board of regents meetings.
OU president Joe Harroz and OU AD Joe Castiglione each said the Sooners intend on being in the Big 12 throughout the remainder of the current deal. The Texas leadership share similar statements.
“2021 will be our 26th year in the Big 12, and we’ve had so many great experiences and memories and will continue to engage in competition and work with many great colleagues in our league going forward through our contract that runs until 2025,” Texas AD Chris Del Conte said. “I personally have made many great friendships in the Big 12. I have respect, admiration, and appreciation for them. I look forward to continuing that.”
Texas president Jay Hartzell added a similar sentiment, saying Texas intends to honor its agreement with the conference until that date.
“On Monday, we alerted the Big 12 that we would not be renewing our grant of rights agreement in 2025—four years down the road,” Hartzell said. “We told the Big 12 that we intend to honor our current agreement, while knowing that notice now is the fairest way to allow the conference to plan for its future beyond 2025.”
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