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Texas, Oklahoma to end media deals, signal departure from Big 12

The Texas Longhorns (pictured) and Oklahoma Sooners were among the first teams to participate in the Big 12 Conference in 1996. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
The Texas Longhorns (pictured) and Oklahoma Sooners were among the first teams to participate in the Big 12 Conference in 1996. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

July 26 (UPI) -- The University of Texas and Oklahoma University will not renew their sports media rights deals with the Big 12 Conference, the schools announced Monday.

The move indicates that two of the biggest brands in college football plan to join a new conference and rattle the landscape of the sport.

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Sources told ESPN, the Houston Chronicle and CBS Sports last week that Texas and Oklahoma reached out to the Southeastern Conference to inquire about a potential union.

"The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference today that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025," the schools said in a joint statement on Monday.

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"Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference's current media rights agreement. The universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements.

"However, both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future."

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The schools did not announce which conference they plan to join. Both schools joined the Big 12 for the conference's first season in 1996.

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The Big 12 Conference executive committee met with Oklahoma president Joe Harroz and Texas president Jay Hartzell on a video conference Sunday to discuss the status of the conference.

"The meeting was cordial, and the executive committee expressed a willingness to discuss proposals that would strengthen the conference and be mutually beneficial to OU and UT, as well as the other member institutions of the conference," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a news release.

"I expect that we will continue our conversations in the days ahead and we look forward to discussing thoughts, ideas and concepts that may be of shared interest and impact."

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The executive committee consists of board of directors chairman and Texas Tech University president Lawrence Schovanec and Baylor University president Linda Livingstone.

Oklahoma and Texas own a combined 11 college football national championships and 82 conference titles.

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