Texas, Oklahoma Vote to Join Southeastern Conference in 2025

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The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oklahoma accepted invitations on Friday to join the Southeastern Conference in 2025.

The board of regents at both universities unanimously voted to approve the move.

The universities will join the SEC at the expiration of their current grant of rights contract with the Big 12 Conference.

"Our board met today to discuss the ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics and the invitation from the Southeastern Conference to The University of Texas at Austin," Board Chairman Kevin Eltife said. "Recognizing the impact this would have on our athletics programs, the board unanimously voted to approve this conference realignment upon the expiration of our current agreement with the Big 12."

University of Texas System Chancellor James B. Milliken said the move ensures a strong future for the athletics program and provides the opportunity for student-athletes to compete at the highest levels.

During Friday's board meeting, Chairman Kevin Eltife said Texas informed the Big 12 on Monday that it did not intend to renew its grant of rights agreement when it expires in 2025. The university then petitioned the Southeastern Conference for membership at the end of their current agreement.

Texas received word Thursday evening that the SEC responded to their request and voted to invite the University of Texas to participate in the SEC at the end of their agreement with the Big 12.

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Eltife went on to say that Texas has benefitted from a strong relationship with the Big 12 Conference over the past 25 years.

According to President Jay Hartzell, Texas concluded that the SEC was the best fit for the university's future due to the stability and strength of the league and its leadership, the level of visibility for student-athletes, the athletic competition, and the stadiums that are similar in capacity and attendance to their own.

The move also allows Texas to regularly compete with key rivals like Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas A&M, Hartzell said.

According to a report by the Associated Press, both teams decided to join the SEC due to worries that their storied athletic programs were in danger of losing ground if they stayed in the Big 12.

“After thorough consideration and study, it became obvious that standing pat would be falling behind,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said.

Before adding Texas and Oklahoma, the SEC was projected to distribute $67 million to each of its current 14 members starting in 2024 when a new deal with ESPN begins.

“A lot of work has gone into this, and there’s no doubt in my mind it’s definitely the right thing for the future of athletics at our flagship," Eltife said.

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