OU, Texas Put Big 12 Conference On Notice, Opening Door For SEC Move
The University of Oklahoma made its intentions to leave the Big 12 Conference official Monday morning via a joint statement the school sent out with the University of Texas.
In the 93-word statement, OU says it won’t be renewing its media rights contract with the Big 12 in 2025. That paves the way for the schools to leave the Big 12 and go to the South Eastern Conference (SEC).
The universities say they won’t leave until the current agreement expires, but will "continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future."
If the two schools leave the conference before 2025, they could be on the hook for $75 million a piece in penalties. But, if other conference schools look to move to other conferences as well, the Big 12 could dissolve. In that case, neither school would be bound to the media rights contract.
The media rights deals are big money engines for the schools, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
As the news of the potential move broke over the weekend, Oklahoma State University’s new President Kayse Shrum tweeted out a statement expressing disappointment in OU’s move.
"We are disappointed by the lack of engagement and transparency from our colleagues at OU over the past months on a matter with serious ramifications for our state," Shrum said. "We have historically worked together to advance our state and address issues based on a partnership built on trust."
Where OSU could end up in an athletics conference realignment remains unclear.