SEC Extends Invitation To Texas, Oklahoma For July 2025

The SEC has officially extended an invitation to the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma to join the conference beginning in the 2025-26 academic year, the SEC announced Thursday.

The invite was extended after a unanimous vote, 14-0, from the SEC’s presidents and chancellors. In order for approval the schools needed a minimum of 11 votes.

Both Texas and Oklahoma, who are currently powerhouses in the Big 12, will have Board of Regents meetings on Friday morning, when they are expected to officially accept the invitations to become the SEC’s 15th and 16th members.

If accepted, the schools would become official members of the SEC on July 1, 2025.

“Today’s unanimous vote is both a testament to the SEC’s longstanding spirit of unity and mutual cooperation, as well as a recognition of the outstanding legacies of academic and athletic excellence established by the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.

“I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school’s membership interest.”

Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork was the only member of any SEC school to voice his disapproval of the move, but TAMU Board of Regents directs president Katherine Banks has later confirmed the school would be voting in support of bringing in the new schools.

On Monday, it was announced that both the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma would not be renewing their Big 12 Conference media rights for 2025, which all but confirmed that the schools would be heading to the SEC.

While the Sooners do not sponsor a swimming & diving program, the Longhorns have historically dominated the Big 12 in the sport, and a departure would be a seismic shift for college swimming.

The reigning NCAA men’s Division I champions would no longer have free reign to do essentially whatever it pleased at their conference championship meet, where they have won each and every year, and would have a new expectation to step up and perform at both SECs and NCAAs, rather than only the latter.

In terms of the conference as a whole, the loss of the two schools would be an extremely significant one for the Big 12, with Texas ($223 million) and Oklahoma ($163 million) the conference’s top-two revenue generating schools per year.

Texas A&M and the University of Missouri also left the Big 12 for the SEC back in 2012-13, which was the beginning of the conference’s decline in terms of overall competitiveness—no doubt a factor in the Longhorns and Sooners opting to depart.

There has also been a lot of discussion regarding the possibility that other conferences have looked at “poaching” Big 12 programs to help destabilize the conference and therefore allow Texas and Oklahoma to avoid exit fees, and get them out of their television agreement with the Big 12 (though the invitation implies they can’t). Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has accused ESPN of helping the schools in doing this.

21
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

21 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
pete kennedy
1 year ago

Bob is toast. What did you expect from a person that rose above his ability to succeed ?

Horninco
1 year ago

If a coach changes his/her team’s taper/prep to make sure they maximize their SEC title Chances and then the team
Swims worse at NC’s and doesn’t win ……that’s a fireable offense IMO

Again, I’ll offer up the challenge that I took on myself. Take the top 22 texas swimmers/divers and insert them into 2021 SEC’s and then tell me texas has to reimagine their conference prep

And if Texas loses SEC’s and wins NC’s ? Awesome. Let Florida or whomever dance around with the conference title trophy. ‘Gram it up.

That’s not the end goal for texas swimming and diving

Coach
1 year ago

The fallout from this is going to be very interesting. Seems to be another step towards 4 mega conferences and and a possible Autonomy Conference breakaway from the NCAA.

Short term, it really leaves TCU and WVU men flapping in the wind. A combined Big 12 and AAC meet would be as good as a 4 team meet can be on the men’s side and a great meet on the women’s side.

Wahooswimfan
Reply to  Coach
1 year ago

PAC12, ACC and BIG10 will be next to add – question is what schools get added and which are left behind. 16 teams seems to be the optimum number and have to assume that Notre Dame won’t be left out and will go to the ACC or Big10 – If they go ACC, then ACC had one spot to fill, and Big10 two, If they go BIG10, then its reversed, but either way its ND plus 3 open spots. PAC12 has 4 spots. So that’s 7 spots for teams other than Notre Dame that teams from the AAC and Big12 leftover teams to vie for. Since its largely about the dollar, teams like UCF (Florida), Cincinnati (Ohio), TCU, Texas Tech,… Read more »

Jeff Lebowski
1 year ago

OU wrestling is going to dominate the SEC.

Coach Macgyver
1 year ago

Although the rivalry between UT and A&M isn’t as great as the UT and OU rivalry, it will be great to see the UT schools playing each other again.

Covidman
Reply to  Coach Macgyver
1 year ago

More like big brother hatred. Ain’t no rivalry – that requires two parties. One-sided insecurity from the maroon.

Texas A&M Swim Fan
Reply to  Covidman
1 year ago

We’ll see… We’ll see!!

Ags
Reply to  Covidman
1 year ago

ight bro, go lose to Iowa state

Covidman
1 year ago

Anyone else see this reaction video from UT? https://streamable.com/dbjm7a

Huh
1 year ago

This will definitely get done before 2025.

Wethorn
1 year ago

Once the lawyers are done, the move will be for the 2022-23 season.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »