Texas, Oklahoma formally announce their intention to leave Big 12 by 2025

Texas Oklahoma
Posted at 10:36 AM, Jul 26, 2021

In a joint statement on Monday, the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma announced that the schools plan to leave the Big 12 Conference when their current grant of media rights expires in 2025.

The announcement comes after reports surfaced last week that the schools were considering a move to the Southeastern Conference.

"The universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements," the schools' joint statement read. "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," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement.

Bowlsby went on to say that the conference will use the "next four years to fully assess what the landscape will look like in 2025 and beyond."

Several outlets reported last week that the schools and the Big 12 will likely begin negotiating an exit prior to the expiration of the grant of rights. In past instances of conference shifting, schools have agreed to pay a fee to conferences in exchange for an early exit.

Texas and Oklahoma are founding members of the Big 12, which was established in 1994. Losing perhaps its two most high-profile member schools would be a devastating blow to the conference.

The two schools combined to win 15 conference titles and two national championships in football since the turn of the century.

The move is sure to have major implications on the Big 12's eight remaining member schools, as well as schools in lower "Group of Five" conferences that may seek an invitation from the Big 12 to replace Texas and Oklahoma.