SEC invites Oklahoma, Texas to join conference

The Southeastern Conference has voted unanimously to invite both Texas and Oklahoma to join the...
The Southeastern Conference has voted unanimously to invite both Texas and Oklahoma to join the SEC.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 4:50 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:12 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WSFA) - The Southeastern Conference has voted unanimously to extend membership invitations to both the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas.

The invitations come at the approval of every president and chancellor within the conference and allows both Oklahoma and Texas to join the SEC as of July 1, 2025 when their exit from the Big 12 Conference becomes official.

Both universities were expected to quickly accept the invitations. They have board of regents meetings scheduled for Friday with conference affiliation listed on the meeting agenda, according to the Associated Press.

“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 Greg Sankey. “I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school’s membership interest.”

The announcement comes two days after both universities requested to join the conference, capping months of quiet, behind-the-scenes work on their exit from the Big 12. Whether the universities can join the SEC before 2025 is still being debated in what could become a messy divorce from the Big 12.

It recently accused ESPN of trying to destabilize the conference, something the sports network has denied. The loss of both teams would reduce the Big 12 to just eight teams, complicating its future, while expanding the SEC to 16.

If the invitations are accepted, both universities will begin competition in all SEC sports starting with the 2025-26 academic year.

Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. The Associate Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.