The Arizona Wildcats, Arizona State Sun Devils, and Utah Utes will join the Big 12 in 2024, the conference officially announced late Friday.
“We are thrilled to welcome Arizona, Arizona State and Utah to the Big 12,” said Commissioner Brett Yormark. “The Conference is gaining three premier institutions both academically and athletically, and the entire Big 12 looks forward to working alongside their presidents, athletic directors, student-athletes and administrators.”
Arizona and Arizona State have been members of the Pac-12 Conference since 1978, which was then named the Pac-8 and changed to Pac-10 with the new additions.
“Our move to the Big 12 Conference will continue to raise the university’s profile by increasing visibility, growing our reach across the country and around the globe, expanding our pool of prospective students, providing more resources to support our student-athletes, and presenting them with greater NIL prospects,” University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins, M.D. said. “We look forward to beginning a new era next year with fresh opportunities for athletics to fulfill its Wildcat Way mission to develop academic, athletic and life champions.”
“The financial package is strong. The stability of the Big 12 is strong. We are ready, and the timing is right,” said Arizona State Vice President for Athletics Eay Anderson. “The exposure and visibility as well as the resources from the conference will help us compete for championships. From enhancing our ability to recruit Texas for football to the Big 12’s strength in basketball, good days are ahead.”
Utah joined the Pac-10 in 2011, along with the Colorado Buffaloes, which resulted in the conference name changing to Pac-12.
“President Randall and I, along with the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, have been fully engaged in pursuing the best possible path for the University of Utah and our athletics programs to excel,” Utah Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said. “After very thorough and comprehensive efforts to preserve our present conference affiliation in the aftermath of the announced departures of UCLA and USC last year, we have explored all options and have determined that the right path for Utah to continue to build on its tremendous growth trajectory is to accept an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference.
“We are appreciative of Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark, his leadership team and the conference membership for extending this invitation. The enormous weight of a move of this magnitude is not lost on any of us. We have great appreciation for our partnership with our fellow Pac-12 Conference members, and the relationships we share that transcend competition.
“This decision represents the best interests of the University of Utah, our student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and our tremendous fans, and we look forward to continuing our growth as a member of the Big 12 Conference beginning next year.”
With the additions of Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah, the Big 12 will have 16 members in 2024, the same as the SEC. The Colorado Buffaloes announced their move to the Big 12 on July 27.
With all of the moves to the Big Ten (Oregon and Washington) and Big 12, the Pac-12 will be left with only four schools — California, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State. Here’s more from Brett McMurphy on their future.
With additional schools leaving the Pac-12, the Mountain West would “be open” to adding remaining Pac-12 schools to the league, sources told Action Network.
The Mountain West currently has a linear television deal with FOX and CBS Sports Network with additional games on CBS through the 2025 season. Another possibility for the Mountain West, depending on how many schools are remaining in the Pac-12, could be a merger of some type between the two leagues, a source said.