ATHENS — The Southeastern Conference presidents and chancellors voted on Thursday afternoon to allow Texas and Oklahoma to join the league.
Word leaked last week the Longhorns and Sooners were planning to leave the Big 12 for SEC, and on Monday the schools notified their former league they would not be renewing their “grants of media rights” upon their expiration in June of 2025.
The invitation is to join the league as of July 1, 2025.
“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,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school’s membership interest.”
One day later, on Tuesday, Texas and Oklahoma filed a formal request to join the SEC, which will grow to 16 teams with their addition.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey issued a release saying the league has “not proactively sought new members,” but he added that “we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members ….”
Related: Potential Texas, Oklahoma additions could greatly impact future Georgia schedule
It was a unanimous 14-0 vote for Texas and Oklahoma to join the league, with every school voting yes. Texas A&M announced on Wednesday that it would be voting yes.
“The board concluded that this expansion would enhance the long-term value of the SEC to student-athletes and all of the institutions they represent — including Texas A&M.
Sankey’s statement indicated Texas and Oklahoma asked to be included in the SEC in 2025, but there’s recent speculation the move could happen sooner.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, whose league is left with eight teams, has alleged that SEC rights holder ESPN is encouraging other conferences to add teams from his league.
“I have absolute certainty that they [ESPN] have been involved in manipulating other conferences to go after our members,” Bowlsby told The Associated Press on Wednesday, after sending a cease-and-desist letter to the network.
Texas and Oklahoma are expected to accept the SEC’s invite at their board meeting on Friday, per a USA Today report.
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