In a move that no doubt precipitates their departure from the Big 12 Conference, Oklahoma and Texas announced on Monday that they will not renew their grants of media rights. That is their formal way of stating that they are departing the conference.
That same statement included a line stating their shared commitments to working towards “how best to continue their athletics programs for the future.” Anyone who’s been following this development since last week knows what that means: They’re leaving the Big 12 and joining the SEC.
While the initial report early last week was dismissed by some as a joke, plenty of journalists quickly found fire where the smoke was. Within hours, there was wide scale confirmation that the Sooners and Longhorns are, in fact, leaving.
So by the time this statement was released on Monday, nobody was particularly surprised. That hasn’t stopped it from going viral on every major outlet though:
Texas and Oklahoma notified the Big 12 on Monday that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025, the schools said in a joint statement. https://t.co/nOv65iDDQH
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 26, 2021
Oklahoma & Texas make it official: they’re leaving conference & expected to apply for SEC membership pic.twitter.com/65h35M18OF
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 26, 2021
Texas and Oklahoma issuing that statement to the Big 12 pic.twitter.com/3UIftt8UD0
— Andrew Hammond (@ahammFreePress) July 26, 2021
Sports journalists are now bracing for the massive realignment to take place. The only real question is how long it’ll be before it happens:
Otherwise, Texas and Oklahoma would be liable for anticipatory breaches by stating their intention to not fulfill contractual obligations. https://t.co/Oh5vZaOApZ
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) July 26, 2021
This is official now. As we reported Friday, Oklahoma and Texas have notified the Big 12 they will not extend their grant of rights beyond 2025. A big step in the massive conference realignment move has taken place. https://t.co/Cl64NjiAeE
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 26, 2021
The departure of Oklahoma and Texas will mean the end of the Big 12 conference. Schools like Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and West Virginia are already reportedly working on their exit strategies.
How long will it be before other Big 12 schools announce their departure? And how long will it be before the Big 12 folds entirely?