SEC

Texas, Oklahoma Submit Request to Join Powerhouse SEC

A vote of at least 3/4 of SEC's 14 members is required to extend an invitation for membership

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Texas and Oklahoma have submitted a request to join the powerhouse Southeastern Conference.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey says his league would consider the request in the "near future."

A day after the Big 12 schools notified the league that they would not be extending an agreement that binds conference members to 2025, the schools publicly stated for the first time they want to join the SEC. The SEC would grow to 16 teams with the additions of Texas and Oklahoma, half of which have won at least one national championship in football since 1980.

Texas and Oklahoma submitted a request Tuesday to join the Southeastern Conference, with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey saying the league would consider it in the "near future."

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A day after the Big 12 schools notified the league that they would not be extending an agreement that binds conference members to 2025, the schools publicly stated for the first time they want to join the powerhouse SEC.

Oklahoma and Texas sent a joint letter to Sankey requesting "invitations for membership to the Southeastern Conference starting on July 1, 2025."

"We believe that there would be mutual benefit to the universities on the one hand, and the SEC on the other hand, for the universities to become members of the SEC. We look forward to the prospect of discussions regarding this matter," the schools said in a letter signed by each university's president.

The SEC would grow to 16 teams with the additions of Texas and Oklahoma, half of which have won at least one national championship in football since 1980.

The news broke last week at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama, that Texas and Oklahoma, the Big 12's flagships universities, had been discussing a possible move with Southeastern Conference officials. The Houston Chronicle was first to report the intended jump, but neither the schools nor the SEC would publicly confirm the parties had been in discussions.

"While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses," Sankey said.

SEC bylaws state at least three-fourth of its members (11 of 14) must vote in favor of extending an invitation for membership.

Texas A&M joined the conference in 2011 along with Missouri in the SEC's most recent expansion. A&M initially voiced concerns about allowing an in-state rival to join the conference, but athletic director Ross Bjork has since suggested his school would not shy away from the added competition.

Tuesday afternoon, the Big 12 responded to Texas and OU's request with the following statement:

"The Big 12 Conference has learned that the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas have submitted formal requests to the SEC to be considered for membership beginning with the 2025-26 athletic year.  The events of recent days have verified that the two schools have been contemplating and planning for the transition for months and this formal application is the culmination of those processes. We are unwavering in the belief that the Big 12 provides an outstanding platform for its members’ athletic and academic success.  We will face the challenges head-on, and have confidence that the Big 12 will continue to be a vibrant and successful entity in the near term and into the foreseeable future."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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