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Texas staying focused on Big 12 as exit to SEC looms

Univ. of Texas AD Chris Del Conte said that the "eyes of Texas are still currently fixed on the Big 12 despite excitement over what the future will hold" with the SEC, according to Dean Straka of 247SPORTS.com. UT and the Univ. of Oklahoma, founding members of the Big 12 Conference, will join the SEC "no later than 2025, though many have speculated the two schools could negotiate an early exit despite high exit fees required." Del Conte said, "We appreciate the opportunity that we do have. I look forward to the day we can compete in that league. But right now, we're competing in the Big 12." Del Conte "brushed aside" talk of an early exit to the SEC when directly asked about the matter, saying that it is "'premature' to discuss the idea of the Longhorns moving conferences prior to three years from now." ESPN's Adam Rittenberg in '21 reported that the move would have OU and UT "on the hook for around $76 million per team." The Big 12 already acted to "mitigate the financial hits the league will take once the two flagship programs of the league's current lineup depart." BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF "all accepted future invitations to the league in September," and the latter three of those are "each negotiating a settlement with the AAC in the range of $17-20 million to join the Big 12 in 2023" (247SPORTS.com, 5/10).

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