Bob Bowlsby Issues Statement after OU, UT Petition SEC for Membership

July 27, 2021

Statements have flown out of the Big 12 offices the past five days, and Oklahoma and Texas formally petitioning to join the SEC on Tuesday called for another Big 12 statement.

“The Big 12 Conference has learned that the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas have submitted formal requests to the SEC to be considered for membership beginning with the 2025-26 athletic year,” Bowlsby said in the Big 12’s release. “The events of recent days have verified that the two schools have been contemplating and planning for the transition for months and this formal application is the culmination of those processes.

“We are unwavering in the belief that the Big 12 provides an outstanding platform for its members’ athletic and academic success.  We will face the challenges head-on, and we have confidence that the Big 12 will continue to be a vibrant and successful entity in the near term and into the foreseeable future.”

It’s the first time Bowlsby has mentioned the SEC through all of this. It is also interesting that Bowlsby mentioned how this “verified” the schools have been planning the move “for months.”

OU and Texas have board of regents meetings scheduled for Friday, and the SEC is set to meet Thursday to formally discuss OU and UT formally petitioning to join the league. It is unknown at this time whether the SEC will vote on the move Thursday, but if so, the Sooners and Longhorns would need a three-fourths majority to be accepted into the league.

It’s also uncertain what is next for the Big 12, as without its two biggest brands, the league would likely struggle to demand top-dollar for TV deals. Throughout Bowlsby’s various statements, he has mentioned the Big 12 continuing into the future, but that future seems quite cloudy.

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