OU, Texas officially request invitation to join SEC

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin say they are trying to leave the Big 12 Conference.

Last week, rumors began swirling that the University of Oklahoma and University of Texas were looking at options to join the powerful Southeastern Conference.

After hearing of the reports, the University of Oklahoma released a statement saying, “The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don’t address every anonymous rumor.”

OU football

On Sunday, the Big 12 Conference’s Executive Committee met with Oklahoma officials about the university’s future.

“The meeting was cordial, and the Executive Committee expressed a willingness to discuss proposals that would strengthen the Conference and be mutually beneficial to OU and UT, as well as the other member institutions of the Conference,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated. “I expect that we will continue our conversations in the days ahead and we look forward to discussing thoughts, ideas and concepts that may be of shared interest and impact.”

On Monday, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin released a joint statement regarding media rights and the Big 12 Conference.

“The University of Oklahoma and The University of Texas at Austin notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference today that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025. Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference’s current media rights agreement. The universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements. However, both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future.”

JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA AND UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

Now, the universities are officially asking to join the SEC.

On Tuesday, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin formally requested invitations to join the Southeastern Conference, beginning July 1, 2025.

“We believe that there would be mutual benefit to the Universities on the one hand, and the SEC on the other hand, for the Universities to become members of the SEC,” the formal request read.

The request, which was made by OU President Joseph Harroz, Jr. and Texas President Jay Hartzell was sent to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.

In a statement, the universities say they “look forward to the prospect of discussions regarding the matter.”

Commissioner Sankey released a statement on Twitter, saying the conference will consider the request.

“The University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, two esteemed academic institutions with storied athletics programs, today submitted formal requests for invitations to become members of the Southeastern Conference in 2025. While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses. The Presidents and Chancellors of the SEC, in their capacity as the conference’s Chief Executive Officers, will consider these requests in the near future. Per the Bylaws of the SEC, a vote of at least three-fourths of the SEC’s 14 members is required to extend an invitation for membership.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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