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Texas and Oklahoma accept invitations to join SEC

"‹Longhorns and Sooners set to leave Big 12 to form 16-team division in 2025.

2 August 2021 Rory Jones
  • SEC schools voted 14-0 in favour of move
  • Oklahoma and Texas will officially become members on 1st July 2025

The division one athletics departments of the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma have accepted invitations to join the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 2025.

The current SEC members voted 14-0 in favour of the move, meaning the Longhorns and Sooners college football teams will be added to a star-studded division that already contains the likes of Alabama, Louisiana State University (LSU) and Georgia.

The decision will see the SEC grow to 16 members from 1st July 2025, with the Longhorns and Sooners set to follow in the footsteps of Texas A&M and Missouri, who left the Big 12 in 2011.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey welcomed the addition of the Longhorns and the Sooners, who have won ten championships between them.

“This is an important moment for the long-term future of the Southeastern Conference and our member universities,” said Sankey. “Oklahoma and Texas are outstanding academic institutions with two strong athletics programmes, which will add to the SEC's national prominence. Their additions will further enhance the already rich academic, athletic and cultural legacies that have been cultivated throughout the years by our existing 14 members. We look forward to the Sooners and Longhorns competing in our conference starting in the 2025 to 2026 academic year.”

In a meeting on 26th July, Texas and Oklahoma informed the Big 12 that they would not be renewing their current media rights deal after it expires in 2025. 

The two colleges then released a joint statement formally requesting invitations to join the SEC from the Big 12, which were extended to the schools on 29th July before being accepted a day later.

Oklahoma president Joe Harroz said: “We believe that joining the Southeastern Conference will sustain our tradition of national-calibre athletics excellence, strengthen our flagship university as a whole and serve the wider interests of the state of Oklahoma. The entire Sooner Nation and Oklahomans throughout the state stand to benefit from this move, and we're thrilled for a new platform to tell the OU story all across the country.”

Jay Hartzell, president at the University of Texas, added: “While our university has enjoyed over 25 years in the Big 12 Conference, we recognise that we must be willing to make changes with our eyes on the future.

“In a world of uncertainty and change, it is incumbent upon us as leaders to protect and enhance our athletic programme and university. In order to do so, we looked at conferences across the country and concluded that the SEC was the best fit for our future.”

The division one athletics departments of the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma have accepted invitations to join the SEC in 2025.

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