Move Date Set
Oklahoma is packing its bags just a little bit earlier.
An agreement was reached between OU, Texas, the Big 12 conference and its television partners to allow OU and Texas to join the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2024, the conference announced Thursday evening. This is a year earlier than what was first agreed to when the groundbreaking news hit in July 2021
“As I have consistently stated, the Conference would only agree to an early withdrawal if it was in our best interest for Oklahoma and Texas to depart prior to June 30, 2025,” said Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark in a press release. “By reaching this agreement, we are now able to accelerate our new beginning as a 12-team league and move forward in earnest with our initiatives and future planning.
“I appreciate the approaches of OU President Joe Harroz and UT President Jay Hartzell to ensure an amicable conclusion to this process and look forward to the bright days ahead for the Big 12 Conference.”
OU and Texas will have to pay compensation to the conference for leaving early, totaling $100 million in foregone distributable revenues, which OU and UT will be able to partially offset with future revenues.
“We look forward to welcoming the conference’s new members and moving into our future as a 16-team league,” said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey in a press release. “The presidents and chancellors (of the SEC) have now authorized the conference office to proceed with facilitating the transition of Oklahoma and Texas to become full members of the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2024.”
The OU and Texas administration had been consistent in their message about wanting to stay with the Big 12 through the 2025 as first agreed to, but in recent months, it became clear all parties involved were looking for a quicker resolution.
“We are grateful to Commissioner Yormark and Chairman Schovanec for their concerted efforts to carve a path forward that allows us all to move ahead with clarity and certainty,” said OU president Joseph Harroz in the release. “With the new era of collegiate athletics fully upon us, an opportunity emerged for all parties involved to explore the value of an early departure. These terms further guarantee the sustainability, stability, competitiveness and excellence of us all.
“The exciting matchups and passionate rivalries of the past quarter century will always be a celebrated part of our shared history. We look forward to showcasing that intensity this season, next season and beyond.”
That means the 2023 football season coming up for the Sooners will mark the final one in the Big 12. And the final Bedlam, for what could be a long, long time, is going to be in Stillwater at Oklahoma State on Nov. 4.
The Sooners are playing three of the new Big 12 members this season, hosting Central Florida and heading to Cincinnati and BYU.
Mark it down as the 2024 football season will be one for changes. OU and Texas to the SEC. USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, and a 12-team college football playoff is coming. It’s a new era across the board.
OU will remain in the Big 12 for the 2023 spring season and all of the 2023-24 academic year.
The move will be officially official with approval from the OU and Texas governing boards. Details will continue to be finalized among all parties in the future.