SEC expansion continued at a breakneck pace Tuesday when Texas and Oklahoma formally asked to join the conference. The move comes a day after the Sooners and Longhorns told the Big 12 they intend to move on when their current deals expire in the 2024-25 athletic year and only six days after rumblings of this move became public in a bombshell report by the Houston Chronicle.
In an email to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Oklahoma president Joseph Harroz and Texas president Jay Hartzell requested invitations to join the conference effective 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,” they wrote.
In a statement Tuesday morning, Sankey acknowledged their requests and said the SEC’s presidents and chancellors will consider them “in the near future.”
The very near future. The SEC’s presidents and chancellors are reportedly scheduled to meet Thursday. The conference can formally invite a new member if three-fourths of its 14 schools agree. Only Texas A&M has expressed opposition to the move.
“While the SEC has not proactively sought new members,” Sankey said, “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.”
Texas and Oklahoma have both scheduled board of regents meetings for Friday to discuss conference membership. Despite both schools’ stated intentions to change leagues in 2025, it’s unlikely they play four lame-duck seasons in the Big 12. Expect negotiations and possibly litigation to lead to an earlier exit, adding two big-name programs to the Gators’ schedule sooner rather than later.
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