STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – While the college football season is underway, the Big 12 Conference is planning ahead for the departure of two of its powerhouse teams.
In July, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin released a joint statement, saying they would not be renewing their media rights with the Big 12 Conference following the expiration in 2025.
The schools then requested an invitation to join the Southeastern Conference, beginning July 1, 2025.
Less than a month later, presidents and chancellors of the 14 teams in the SEC met to discuss the request by OU and Texas. During the meeting, they voted unanimously to extend memberships to the schools.
After the Sooners and the Longhorns accepted that invitation, officials with the Big 12 Conference have been planning a path forward without those powerhouse teams.
On Friday, the Big 12 Conference voted to extend membership invitations to BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston.
The eight continuing members of the Big 12 unanimously approved the applications of the four schools.
OSU President Kayse Shrum released the following statement regarding her vote:
“This morning, I joined my fellow Big 12 university presidents to accept applications for membership into the Big 12 athletic conference from four respected universities with impressive athletic traditions. The application process represents the first in a series of steps to expand the conference and ensure we continue to compete at the highest level of competition for national championships in all women’s and men’s sports. I am enthusiastic about the future of Oklahoma State University athletics and welcome Brigham Young University, University of Central Florida, University of Houston, and the University of Cincinnati. The new Big 12 creates an impressive geographical footprint, and I appreciate the persistence, cooperation, and collaboration among my Big 12 colleagues and the Big 12 Conference office. In this process, I have talked with many presidents, athletic directors and college sports leaders across the country. I enjoyed the support and valued the advice. We have made many new friends, and I look forward to building these relationships. The leadership of our athletic director, Chad Weiberg, has been invaluable on many fronts. I am proud to work alongside Chad as we are both passionate about our alma mater, our state’s land-grant university, Oklahoma State.”
BYU announced on Twitter that it had officially accepted the invitation.
“This is a historic day for BYU Athletics- and for the entire university. The BYU mission statement indicates that BYU is a place where ‘a commitment to excellence is expected.’ We strive to meet that requirement in all we do, including our core academic enterprise. Membership in the Big 12 gives us the opportunity to reinforce that commitment for student-athletes, allowing them to compete at the highest level both on and off the field,” said BYU President Kevin Worthen.
The University of Houston announced that it also accepted the invitation to join the Big 12.
“Today is a monumental day in the trajectory of the University of Houston. Over the years there have been many moments and many people responsible for those moments that have paved the way to today’s years-in-the-making announcement. As a Cougar myself, it is a privilege and honor to represent the many who have played a role in getting all of us to this special day,” Vice President of Houston Athletics Chris Pezman said. “On behalf of the University of Houston, I want to thank Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the membership of the Big 12 for their belief in us and the value we can add to the Conference. Our collective past performances have led us to the opportunity we have today. We are humbled, honored, excited and ready to get to work. Together, what we can accomplish is limitless.”
UCF announced that its Board of Trustees will meet on Friday afternoon to discuss moving to the conference.