SEC votes 14-0 to invite Texas, Oklahoma to join conference
SEC university presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Thursday to extend invitations to join the conference to Texas and Oklahoma.
Eleven of the 14 members needed to vote in favor of inviting a new member.
"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," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.
Texas A&M officials had voiced their displeasure last week with the possibility of rival Texas joining the SEC, but A&M's board of regents on Wednesday directed University President Katherine Banks to vote in favor of the Longhorns and Sooners coming aboard.
The invite is for the schools to join the SEC on July 1, 2025, but it is expected that the schools will try to leave the Big 12 ahead of then.
As for now, the process goes back to the schools. Texas and Oklahoma both have board of regents meetings schedule for Friday with conference affiliation on the agenda. Whether the boards will move to accept the invitations at those meetings is unknown, but it is almost certain they will at some point.
Texas and Oklahoma informed the Big 12 this week they would not be renewing an agreement that binds them to the league and its eight other members until 2025. The grant of media rights runs concurrently with the Big 12's billion-dollar television contracts with ESPN and Fox.
On Tuesday, Texas and Oklahoma submitted a request to the SEC to join that league in 2025. To join the conference earlier than that could cost the schools tens of millions of dollars -- unless the Big 12 were to fall apart because some of the other members left as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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