KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The presidents of the Southeastern Conference voted unanimously Thursday to approve the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas to join the conference.
Oklahoma and Texas notified the Big 12 Conference earlier this week that they would not be extending a grant of media rights agreement past its 2025 expiration date.
On Tuesday, the two universities formally requested invitations to join the SEC, beginning July 1, 2025.
The addition of the two schools would move the conference to 16 schools. There is no word at this time as to which of the two divisions of the conference each team would go to.
A lot is now up in the air for the future of the Big 12 Conference and it’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships held every year in Kansas City. The tournaments typically bring in $15 million or more in economic activity to Kansas City, Mayor Quinton Lucas said.
“We’ve been an attractive place to have a college basketball tournament. We will continue to be an attractive place. There’s rich history here. We sell the seats here. We have a good relationship with our businesses, and we will pitch that at every conference throughout the country,” Lucas said.
The Big 12 Championship is scheduled in Kansas City through 2025, but that’s not set in stone and replacing the tournament in the near future won’t be easy.
According to Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission, the contract states if the teams in the conference change, the Big 12 Championship bid and host city could be revisited.
Nelson said if the Big 12 were to dissolve, recruiting a new tournament would be difficult with the SEC and Big Ten Championships already awarded to other cities for the next decade.
“I think we need to be realistic that this Big 12 Championship is a huge economic windfall for our city to replace that will be difficult if you are just thinking replace it with other college basketball,” she said.
Nelson points to the NCAA Sweet 16, Elite 8 and NFL Draft in 2023 and NCAA Wrestling Championships in 2024 as events that were expected to boost the economy and could help soften the blow of potentially losing the annual event the commission refers to as its Super Bowl.
You can read the letter from the SEC below.
The Presidents and Chancellors of the Southeastern Conference on Thursday voted unanimously today to extend membership invitations to the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas to join the SEC effective July 1, 2025, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2025-26 academic year.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey communicated the invitations to the respective presidents of the two universities following today’s videoconference meeting of the Conference’s Presidents and Chancellors. The meeting was convened after the two universities submitted separate requests for membership invitations to the SEC on Tuesday, July 27.
“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 Commissioner Sankey. “I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school’s membership interest.”
Today’s actions are in accordance with SEC Bylaw 3.1.2, which authorizes the Chief Executive Officers of the Conference to extend invitations for membership if at least three-fourths of its 14 member institutions vote to approve.
Herb Vincent, Associate Commissioner, Southeastern Conference