The University of Texas and University of Oklahoma have decided not to renew their Big 12 Conference media rights after 2025 on Monday, they announced Monday.
This confirms rumors of their plans to leave the Big 12 and join the Southeastern Conference, although they have yet to apply to join the SEC.
We reported on the impact of this decision, the top two revenue-producing Big 12 schools leaving the conference, following rumors on Thursday.
“Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference’s current media rights agreement,” Texas and Oklahoma said in a joint press release.
“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.”
“Although our eight members are disappointed with the decisions of these two institutions, we recognize that intercollegiate athletics is experiencing rapid change and will most likely look much different in 2025 than it does currently,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in the Big 12’s statement.
“The Big 12 Conference will continue to support our member institutions’ efforts to graduate student-athletes, and compete for Big 12 and NCAA championships.
“Like many others, we will use the next four years to fully assess what the landscape will look like in 2025 and beyond. The remaining eight institutions will work together in a collaborative manner to thoughtfully and strategically position the Big 12 Conference for continued success, both athletically and academically, long into the future.”
ESPN explained that Big 12 bylaws require schools planning to leave a conference to provide notice of their decision 18 months in advance, or otherwise pay a ’commitment buyout fee,’ equal to the distributions that would be paid to the school during those last two years of its membership.