It’s official: UC accepts invitation to join Big 12

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 8:36 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 10:21 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - It’s official: The Bearcats are making the jump to a Power Five football conference.

The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors voted Friday morning to extend membership invitations to the University of Cincinnati, Brigham Young University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Houston.

“Today’s actions were in accordance with Big 12 Conference Bylaw 1.5.2.b.3 requiring an affirmative vote of a supermajority of Directors, and was approved unanimously by the eight continuing members.

“As necessary, institutional Boards will be in session today to act on Big 12 Conference membership. Videoconference announcements with Big 12 Board of Directors Chairman and Texas Tech University President Lawrence Schovanec, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, and campus representatives are scheduled today at the following times: Houston – 11:00 a.m. CTBYU – 11:30 a.m. CTUCF – 2:45 p.m. CTCincinnati – 3:30 p.m.”

The University of Cincinnati officially applied to join the Big 12 earlier this week. UC’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the move in a special meeting earlier Friday morning.

UC will join the Big 12 no later than July 1, 2024.

National media has widely speculated this move by UC ever since the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma announced they are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025.

Sports Illustrated reported on Sept. 3 that UC was one of four schools expected to apply for the Big 12. University of Central Florida, Houston and BYU are the others planning to apply, per SI.

The four teams would join the league by 2023 or 2024 at the latest, according to the report. That means they could play Texas and Oklahoma before those schools depart for the SEC.

Current Big 12 Conference Members:

  • Baylor University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Kansas
  • Kansas State University
  • University of Oklahoma (leaving for the SEC in 2025)
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Texas Christian University
  • University of Texas (leaving for the SEC in 2025)
  • Texas Tech University
  • West Virginia University

The three American Athletic Conference schools (Houston, UCF, and UC) must give 27-month notice to the league before leaving and pay a $10 million exit penalty, the report claims.

The Big 12 would supposedly retain its Power 5 conference status.

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