The University of Central Florida, BYU, Houston and Cincinnatti are reportedly expected to apply to join the league next week and then potentially be approved as soon as Sept. 10, in a meeting of Big 12 presidents.
The new teams are expected to join the conference by 2023, or at the latest, 2024. The news comes six weeks after Texas and Oklahoma announced they are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, but there could be a couple of years of overlap with the new teams, leading to a temporary 14-team league.
UCF, Houston and Cincinnati are currently all part of the American Athletic Conference. The schools are required to give 27-month notice should they want to exit, and would each pay a $10 million exit fee. If they were to leave sooner, they could pay an increased penalty. (BYU is an independent school in football but would have to give the West Coast Conference notice for its other sports).
According to SI, the four new teams would not get their full conference distribution shares right away, but their first-year shares will double or triple their currennt $6-7 million annual shares from the AAC. Cincinnati and BYU each sponsor men’s and women’s teams in swimming & diving, while Houston sponsors a women’s-only team. UCF doesn’t have a swimming & diving program.
The Big 12’s decision to add teams comes shortly after the Pac-12 Conference announced that it is not seeking to expand from its current 12-school membership.