University of Oklahoma Athletics Director Joe Castiglione listens in during the OU Board of Regents meeting before going into executive session to consider the school’s athletics conference membership at OU Health Sciences Center on Friday, July 30, 2021, in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Texas and Oklahoma’s remaining days in the Big 12 Conference are officially numbered.
Both institutions regents voted unanimously on Friday to accept the SEC’s invitations for membership, bringing to an end a process that became public in the middle of last week, shocking most of the collegiate athletics world, and picked up significantly in the days that followed.
OU’s athletic director discussed the timing of The Houston Chronicle’s bombshell report last week, which made OU and UT’s interest in the SEC public.
Oklahoma and Texas are expected to remain in the Big 12 through the 2024-25 academic year, but few people within college athletics expect them to actually make it that long. Each institution would owe roughly $80 million apiece in exit fees if they wished to break the Big 12’s grant of rights early.
What it will mean for the two schools to be contributing members of the conference, outside of on football fields and basketball courts, in the coming years remains to be seen. It is hard to believe the other eight schools in the league will welcome them back to the boardroom table with open arms after the way the last two weeks have transpired.
Add the fact the two institutions are more or less leaving schools they’ve each been aligned with for more than a century (Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas and Oklahoma State on OU’s end, Texas Tech, Baylor, and kind of TCU, for Texas) for dead and you can imagine there will be some hard feelings around the league in the years to come.
The league’s other eight members of the executive committee are scheduled to meet later today to discuss their next steps, specifically in relation to Bob Bowlsby’s cease and desist letter to ESPN earlier this week.