Less than a week after word first leaked that the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma were interested in leaving the Big 12 Conference and moving to the Southeastern Conference, and only a day after the pair announced that they were not interested in extending their grant of rights to the Big 12 media contracts past the current 2025 conclusion, the Longhorns and Sooners formally applied for admission to the SEC.
The university presidents at both Texas and Oklahoma jointly submitted a letter to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, which they in turn also released publicly on Tuesday morning.
“Dear Commissioner Sankey:
“The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma (the “Universities”) request invitations for membership to the Southeastern Conference (the “SEC”) starting July 1, 2025. We believe there would be mutual benefit to the Universities on one hand, and the SEC on the other hand, for the Universities to become members of the SEC.
“We look forward to the prospect of discussions regarding this matter.
“Jay Hartzel, President, The University of Texas at Austin
“Joseph Harroz, Jr., President, The University of Oklahoma”
A short while after UT and OU revealed their letter of application, SEC commission Sankey released a statement of his own.
“The University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, two esteemed academic institutions with storied athletic programs, today submitted formal requests to become members of the Southeastern Conference in 2025.
“While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when it is clear a consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and will lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses. The Presidents and Chancellors of the SEC, in their capacity as the conference’s Chief Executive Officers, will consider these requests in the near future. Per the Bylaws of the SEC, a vote of at least three-fourths of the SEC’s 14 members is required to extend an invitation for membership.”
And in the world dueling statements, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby then released his own Tuesday afternoon.
“The Big 12 Conference has learned that the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas have submitted formal requests to the SEC to be considered for membership beginning with the 2025-26 athletic year. The events of recent days have verified that the two schools have been contemplating and planning for the transition for months and this formal application is the culmination of those processes. We are unwavering in the belief that the Big 12 provides an outstanding platform for its members’ athletic and academic success. We will face the challenges head-on, and we have confidence that the Big 12 will continue to be a vibrant and successful entity in the near term and into the foreseeable future.”