The statement said OU and Texas sent their request to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey on Tuesday morning.
“The two universities are eagerly awaiting the prospect of a discussion on this subject,” the statement said.
Sources said SEC presidents and chancellors were meeting on Thursday to consider OU and Texas to officially become members of what would become the first 16-team superconference. Despite the formal notification from the 12 major schools, a source familiar with the process warned that this still does not guarantee that the SEC will vote at that time. A three-quarters majority vote of SEC presidents and chancellors (11 out of 14) would be required for the invitations to be extended.
Sources previously told ESPN that it was believed enough SEC schools would vote to add the two new members.
“While the SEC has not proactively sought out new members, we will pursue significant changes when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to better experiences. better academic and athletic results on our campuses, ”Sankey said in a statement. “The presidents and chancellors of the SEC, in their capacity as chief executive officers of the conference, will consider these requests in the near future. “
The Texas and Oklahoma boards of directors have separate special meetings scheduled for Friday morning, during which athletic conference membership will be discussed. The Oklahoma regents will meet in Oklahoma City, while the Texas regents will meet by conference call.
Texas and OU said in the letter that they intend to stay in the Big 12 until June 30, 2025, as that is when the Big 12’s current media rights agreement. 12 expires – but that doesn’t guarantee they won’t find a way to leave. before this date. If that happens sooner, each university will have to pay a fine of at least $ 75-80 million to break this deal, or hope the Big 12 disband before the rights contract expires.
A Big 12 source has suggested the possibility that OU and Texas are banking on a relationship that turns so sour over the next few years that the Big 12 is willing to let them go for less.
An SEC source said the Longhorns and Sooners “have a lot of legal work to do before they can just join us.”
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.