BIG 12’s Texas, Oklahoma make request to join SEC

Ralph D. Russo Ap College Football Writer
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Texas and Oklahoma made a request Tuesday to join the powerhouse Southeastern Conference, with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey saying the league would consider it in the “near future.”

A day after the Big 12 schools notified the league that they would not be extending an agreement that binds conference members to 2025, the schools publicly stated for the first time they want to join the SEC.

Oklahoma and Texas sent a joint letter to Sankey, requesting “invitations for membership to the Southeastern Conference starting on 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. We look forward to the prospect of discussions regarding this matter,” the schools said in a letter signed by each university’s president.

Oklahoma and Texas are bound to the Big 12 and its eight other members through the 2024-25 school year by a grant of media rights that runs concurrent with the conference’s billion-dollar television deals with ESPN and Fox.

Joining another conference before the grant of rights expires would cost the schools tens of millions of dollars per year in relinquished revenue and possibly exit penalties.

Competing in the conference as a lame duck for four more seasons doesn’t benefit the schools and isn’t ideal for the Big 12, either. If the conference is going to survive, it needs to begin rebuilding soon to show stability heading into negotiations for its next television contract.

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