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Texas and Oklahoma announced Monday that the schools were taking the first steps to officially move from the Big 12 Conference to the SEC. The schools released a joint statement announcing they will not be renewing grants for media rights after they expire in 2025.
In other words, say goodbye to Texas and Oklahoma and the Big 12 as you knew it.
“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.”
It will reportedly cost the two schools $75-80 million in penalty fees if they decide to leave before 2025. Even if OU and UT go that route, there will still be an 18-month notice that must be given to the conference. There’s a belief being floated that the two schools might get out of that payment if the conference falls apart before 2025.
The Big 12 supposedly sent a message to OU and Texas telling them: “Don’t pay us. If you are willing to come with ideas or elements you’d need, do it genuinely. If this is done, let us know.”
Then the schools fired back with today’s announcement that they’re not renewing the media contract. Of course, that could always change through negotiations with the Big 12, but at this point, it sure looks like we’re seeing the first goodbyes as the Sooners and Longhorns marry the SEC.
In the story that broke the news of the schools moving to the SEC, a “high-ranked college official” told the Houston Chronicle OU and UT were leaving the Big 12 “within a couple of weeks.” As it stands right now, it appears the timeline checks out.