OU Board of Regents accepts SEC’s invitation to join conference

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The University of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents gathered for a special meeting early Friday morning to discuss the future of the university and the Big 12.

The regents ultimately voted unanimously to head to the SEC. But the fate of Bedlam, the rivalry between OU and Oklahoma State University, is now up in the air.

“The very clear message from our friends in the Big 12 was ‘whatever you’re gonna do, please do it quickly.’ And we wanna honor that,” said University of OU President Joseph Harroz Jr.

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OU President Joseph Harroz Jr.

“All in favor say ‘aye.’ Any opposed? Motion carries. Welcome to the Southeastern Conference,” said Michael Cawley, OU Board of Regents.

The board’s vote authorized proceedings allowing the university to join the Southeastern Conference in July 2025.

The decision comes just a little over a week after rumors started swirling of OU and Texas making the move to the SEC.

“Each of us are absolute powerhouses,” Harroz said.

“While we remain harsh rivals, fierce rivals in the field of any competition, we know that we share some characteristics and goals. That alignment serves us both very well,” said Joe Castiglione, OU Athletics Director.

The university looks forward to what the new conference has to offer, including what Harroz says will be better television negotiations and later kickoff times.

“I know SEC fans will enjoy discovering Norman. They’ll discover our athletic traditions,” Castiglione said.

“We believe this move is not just best for OU. We believe this move is best for our state,” Harroz said.

The vote ensures the Red River Rivalry will continue, but the fate of Bedlam isn’t as clear.

“We looked at solutions for us to move together, but that simply is not what the market we’re pursuing allows,” Harroz said. “Make no mistake, we want the Bedlam rivalry to continue.”

Last Friday, OSU President Kayse Shrum released a statement, saying, in part, “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. We have historically worked together to advance our state and address issues based on a partnership built on trust.”

University of Texas Board of Regents also met Friday morning. The board voted unanimously to join the SEC, but the university’s athletic director says they will remain in the Big 12 for the foreseeable future.

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