The first domino in college athletics’ newest realignment saga has officially fallen.
The universities of Texas and Oklahoma have formally applied for membership into the SEC after sending a letter to conference commissioner Greg Sankey on Tuesday, expressing what they believe would be a mutually-beneficial move for both the schools and the league. According to the letter, they wish to begin their membership on July 1, 2025 to honor the grant-of-rights agreement with the Big 12.
Soon after the letter was made public, Sankey released a statement of his own, emphasizing that Texas and Oklahoma were the first to reach out to the SEC (not the other way around).
“While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses,” Sankey wrote.
He added that at least three-fourths of the league’s 14 members must vote to approve an invitation to the prospective new members. When the realignment conversation began on Wednesday, certain SEC schools (namely, Texas A&M) came out against the move. However, Stadium college football insider Brett McMurphy reports the vote will likely be unanimous.
Furthermore, he says the SEC will do its best to get its two new members incorporated into the league before that 2025 date — possibly as early as 2022.
ESPN reports that SEC presidents and chancellors are expected to meet on Thursday, while the Texas and Oklahoma boards of regents will hold separate meetings on Friday to discuss “athletic conference membership matters.”