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OU, Texas announce plans to leave Big 12 conference

Big 12 Championship
Posted at 9:39 AM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 09:16:50-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Universities of Texas and Oklahoma made official a long-swirling rumor Monday morning - they plan to leave the Big 12 Conference.

In releases posted on each school’s website, the schools have notified the Big 12 they do not plan to renew their grants of media rights when the expire in 2025.

Although reports have indicated the two schools are eyeing admission to the Southeastern Conference, the schools made no specific announcements of what’s next - or even a timeline.

“The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference today that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025. Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference’s current media rights agreement. 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.”

The announcement could bring into question the viability of the Big 12 Conference’s eight remaining members, a group that includes the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.

“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. “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.”

The announcement also has Kansas City officials monitoring for any impacts to tournaments hosted in Kansas City.

On Friday, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said he remains vigilant in keeping those major conference tournaments in the city.