SEC expanding, grants membership to Texas and Oklahoma

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — The Southeastern Conference will be expanding in four years.

 

The league announced Friday that Texas and Oklahoma will officially become members of the conference on July 1, 2025. The addition of the Longhorns and Sooners will expand the SEC to 16 teams. Both schools submitted requested an invitation to become members on Tuesday.

 

The Conference's Presidents and Chancellors voted during a meeting conducted by videoconference on Thursday to extend invitations to the two universities. Both universities' Boards of Regents officially accepted the invitations during meetings conducted on Friday morning.

 

"This is an important moment for the long-term future of the Southeastern Conference and our member universities," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. "Oklahoma and Texas are outstanding academic institutions with two strong athletics programs, which will add to the SEC's national prominence.

 

"Their additions will further enhance the already rich academic, athletic and cultural legacies that have been cultivated throughout the years by our existing 14 members. We look forward to the Sooners and Longhorns competing in our Conference starting in the 2025-26 academic year."

 

Oklahoma’s board of regents “authorized proceedings that allow the university to join the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 2025 after the expiration of the Big 12 Conference's current media rights agreements.”

 

"The board's action today is undoubtedly one of the most significant decisions in our more than a century of athletics and is of true importance to the broader university," said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. "We believe that joining the Southeastern Conference will sustain our tradition of national-caliber athletics excellence, strengthen our flagship university as a whole and serve the wider interests of the state of Oklahoma.”

 

Texas Chancellor James B. Miliken also said the move is in the best interests of the school and its athletics department.

 

“Today’s action by the Board of Regents is in the best interests of UT student athletes, the UT Austin athletics program overall, and the university. This move ensures a strong future for an outstanding athletics program, providing the opportunity for our student athletes to compete at the highest levels,” he said.

 

Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have been members since the formation of the SEC in 1933. The Conference added Arkansas and South Carolina in 1991, followed by Missouri and Texas A&M in 2012.

 

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

 

 

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