University of Oklahoma leadership finalizes plans for SEC move at Board of Regents meeting
Oklahoma’s time in the Big 12 has its official move-out day. After a special Board of Regents meeting hosted Friday afternoon, it is now official: Oklahoma’s last day in the conference will be June 30, 2024.
The special Board of Regents meeting was announced unexpectedly on Wednesday. However, the meeting served a significant purpose. The university finalized OU’s early exit to the SEC from the Big 12.
OU president Joseph Harroz spoke to the media on Friday to add clarity regarding the purpose of the meeting and what was accomplished.
“Today is the documentation of what was announced in February on the agreement with the Big 12 commissioner, the Big 12, the University of Texas, and for our departure from the Big 12 one year early,” OU President Joseph Harroz said Friday. “This brings together all those things and approves the agreements that will document that.”
Texas is, by and large, doing the same thing on its end and allowing itself the requisite time to make sure no legal issues may arise that could impede the transition from one conference to the next. The Big 12 announced an early-exit agreement with Oklahoma and Texas on Feb. 9. Both schools were supposed to depart in 2025 but came to an agreement that would allow both schools to leave next year. However, the two schools will pay $100 million combined in early exit fees.
The Sooners plan to leave behind their $40 million from its Big 12 television rights from 2023, which will contribute to their exit fee. With that hurdle clear, all systems are a go, and Oklahoma closes in on its historic move to the SEC.
“It just accelerates a few things,” Sooners’ athletic director Joe Castiglione said on Friday. “We’ve been working on this for the last, say, a year and a half since we announced our move. We’ve done a lot of work on campus. Many of our staff members have come together and worked on various subcommittees on a myriad of topics.”
Oklahoma will begin competition in the SEC during the 2024-2025 academic year for every sport but men’s gymnastics and wrestling since SEC schools don’t support these programs.
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