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.

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Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Boy did the Aggies ever get screwed.

PFA
1 month ago

I knew the SEC conference was close but I didn’t realize they were unanimously close. I would have thought A&M would have voted against this but I guess that would have been a lost cause for them especially if the rest of the conference was okay with Texas and Oklahoma joining.

Pvdh
Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

This move means a ton of money for A&M. They’re not about to give that up for some hurt pride.

WestCoastRefugee
Reply to  Pvdh
1 month ago

Yep, you nailed it. Texas and to a somewhat lesser degree OK, represent big big $$$$$

Admin
Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

My guess is that they have a secret vote and come to a decision, then everyone publicly falls in line with that vote to show a united front.

Nobody wants to go on record as the nail that sticks out.

Saw Guerra
1 month ago

Florida is going down

Swimmer
Reply to  Saw Guerra
1 month ago

Texas will have to learn how to double taper. It could be a disaster for the horns- unchartered territory.

T S
1 month ago

Conference champs would be even more insane with UT there

JCO
Reply to  T S
1 month ago

If anything, this takes away from the excitement for the team race on the men’s side as UF graduates one of their best classes ever next spring. Texas should win with relative ease for a while depending on recruiting the next few years. The women’s race will still be exciting, but Texas has to be big favorites there too.

I do agree though that the meet will be incredibly fast and a lot of fun to watch from a times/individual performance perspective.

Wethorn
1 month ago

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

Huh
1 month ago

This will definitely get done before 2025.

Covidman
1 month ago

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

Coach Macgyver
1 month 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 month 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 month ago

We’ll see… We’ll see!!

Ags
Reply to  Covidman
1 month ago

ight bro, go lose to Iowa state

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 …

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