SEC presidents vote to accept Texas, Oklahoma into expanded league
Southeastern Conference presidents formally voted today to accept the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma as the newest members of the league.
The vote, which required approval from 3/4 of the members of the conference, was unanimous in favor of expansion. Reports indicate SEC athletics directors and presidents were briefed earlier this week on the financial parameters of a 16-team SEC.
NEWS | The @SEC Presidents & Chancellors voted unanimously Thursday to extend membership invitations to the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas to join the SEC effective July 1, 2025, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2025-26 academic year.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) July 29, 2021
Brian Davis of USA-Today reports the UT System Board of Regents has scheduled a meeting for 9 a.m. Friday, where it is expected they will formally accept the SEC’s invitation to join the conference. Davis also reports that OU regents have scheduled a Friday meeting in Norman, Okla.
“Today’s unanimous vote is both a testament to the SEC’s longstanding spirit of unity and mutual cooperation, as well as a recognition of the outstanding legacies of academic and athletic excellence established by the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas. I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school’s membership interest.”
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey
Here’s the timeline of events:
- Monday, July 26: Texas and OU release a joint statement informing the Big 12 Conference they did not want to extend their grant of television rights beyond 2025.
- Tuesday, July 27: The Longhorns and Sooners issued another joint statement saying they were formally asking to join the SEC.
- Thursday, July 29: SEC presidents vote to accept Texas and Oklahoma into the expanded league.
“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,” the Texas and Oklahoma presidents wrote in their letter to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.
Now that the vote has been approved by the current SEC members, most expect there will be statements and press conferences on Friday.
Texas and OU requested to join the league in 2025, as the Longhorns and Sooners are contractually obligated to the Big XII until the 2024-25 athletic year. Estimates are that they would incur upwards of a $160 million buyout if they left early.
But as Davis includes in his article, “the league could bring in $1.3 billion annually by fiscal year 2024-25 — an eye-popping revenue total that would equal what the NCAA brings in annually.”
(Photo credit: Evie Van Pelt, The Rebel Walk)