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Big 12 agrees to allow Oklahoma and Texas to leave conference early; price tag is $100 million

Texas and Oklahoma wanted out of the Big 12 Conference a year earlier than scheduled, and for $100 million, they will get their wish.

IRVING, TX – The Big 12 announced Thursday that the Conference has agreed in principle to terms with the University of Oklahoma and The University of Texas at Austin to leave the Conference following the 2023-24 athletic year, one year earlier than originally announced, subject to final approval from the OU and UT governing Boards. Compensation to the Conference for the early withdrawals of the two schools totals $100 million in foregone distributable revenues, which OU and UT will be able to partially offset with future revenues.

“As I have consistently stated, the Conference would only agree to an early withdrawal if it was in our best interest for Oklahoma and Texas to depart prior to June 30, 2025,” said Commissioner Brett Yormark. “By reaching this agreement, we are now able to accelerate our new beginning as a 12-team league and move forward in earnest with our initiatives and future planning. I appreciate the approaches of OU President Joe Harroz and UT President Jay Hartzell to ensure an amicable conclusion to this process, and look forward to the bright days ahead for the Big 12 Conference.”

“Finding a satisfactory resolution to this matter that is fair to all parties, and best positions the Big 12 moving forward has been a top priority,” commented Texas Tech University President and Big 12 Conference Board of Directors Chairman Lawrence Schovanec. “This agreement would not have occurred without the collaboration of the presidents and chancellors of all 10 Big 12 universities, and our tremendous partners at ESPN and FOX. I am very grateful for everyone’s efforts to make today’s announcement possible.”

“We have always been committed to fulfilling our contractual obligations to the Big 12. The collegiate athletics landscape has continued to evolve rapidly, and working together to accelerate our exit produced benefits for all parties,” said Jay Hartzell, UT President. “The Big 12 has been a respected partner for nearly three decades, and we look forward to a final season of spirited competition with our friends and rivals. I appreciate Commissioner Yormark’s and Chairman Schovanec’s thoughtful approach and the collaborative work toward a solution that prioritizes the best interests of all institutions.”

“We are grateful to Commissioner Yormark and Chairman Schovanec for their concerted efforts to carve a path forward that allows us all to move ahead with clarity and certainty. With the new era of collegiate athletics fully upon us, an opportunity emerged for all parties involved to explore the value of an early departure. These terms further guarantee the sustainability, stability, competitiveness and excellence of us all,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “The exciting matchups and passionate rivalries of the past quarter century will always be a celebrated part of our shared history. We look forward to showcasing that intensity this season, next season and beyond.”

The terms reached today are the byproduct of the Conference members working toward a resolution that provides stability for all involved.

Details will continue to be finalized among all parties.

On July 1, 2023, the Big 12 welcomes new members BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston to the Conference, and will compete as a 14-team league for the upcoming 2023-24 season.

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