The Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns will remain in the Big 12 Conference through the 2024 season, new conference commissioner Brett Yormark said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters at the Big 12 Basketball Tipoff inside Kansas City’s T-Mobile Center, Yormark remarked on his discussions with the two schools. Both the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns are set to depart the Big 12 and join the SEC in 2025.
“They’re going to be here through ‘25,” Yormark said. “They’ve committed themselves in advance of me getting here and they’ve reiterated that commitment. So they’ll be here through the duration (of the grant of rights). And my relationship with both Texas and Oklahoma is very, very strong. And they are full members and we’re looking forward to working with them.”
To clarify, the Big 12’s grant of rights officially expires on June 30, 2025, which marks the end of the 2024-25 NCAA academic calendar year. So Oklahoma and Texas would then join the SEC on July 1, 2025 and compete in the league in football that fall season.
Oklahoma and Texas could attempt to negotiate an early exit from the Big 12, however, but that would require a hefty buyout. Here’s more on that from Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated.
Leaving a year early would require the two schools to pay a cumulative, estimated price tag of more than $100 million. The schools already owe the league a mandatory exit fee of $80 million each. The exit fee, stemming from an agreement they made years ago, is required even if they stay through the grant of rights. However, officials are in the midst of on-going negotiations over the exit fee.
The Big 12 currently consists of 10 teams, but will expand to 14 for the 2023 and 2024 seasons with the addition of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF.
Regarding the schedule for the next two seasons, Yormark provided some details on the format today. The Big 12 will remain divisionless and each team will play a nine-game conference schedule. Additionally, each Big 12 team will play each other at least one time over the two-year period and traditional rivalries will be preserved.
“We’ll announce next years schedule in early December, which is pretty much what has been done previously,” Yormark said.