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Massive 12 powers Texas, Oklahoma inquire about becoming a member of SEC in probably huge realignment shakeup

With School Soccer Playoff growth coming and the game as a complete present process radical change, one other spherical of convention realignment could also be on the horizon. Texas and Oklahoma have each reached out to the SEC about becoming a member of the league ought to the 2 Massive 12 powerhouses select to go away their house convention.

Citing “a high-ranking school official with information of the scenario,” the Houston Chronicle‘s Brent Zwerneman first reported that the SEC might announce the additions of the Longhorns and Sooners “inside a few weeks.” CBS Sports activities can verify that a minimum of Texas has inquired with the SEC about admission into the nation’s strongest convention.

“There’s method an excessive amount of smoke at this level,” one Massive 12 supply tells CBS Sports activities.

The Longhorns are quickly anticipated to tell the Massive 12 that they don’t plan to increase their grant of media rights cope with the convention, based on Stadium’s Brett McMurphy, who additionally studies that there’s mutual curiosity about having Texas and Oklahoma be part of the SEC. The Massive 12’s grant of rights settlement expires in 2025.

College of Texas regents chair Kevin Elfite is behind the pitch, sources inform CBS Sports activities. Elfite is a 62-year-old business actual property investor in Tyler, Texas, who served within the Texas Senate from 2004-13. He was appointed as a regent to the UT system by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2019.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey wouldn’t tackle the studies whereas in attendance at 2021 SEC Media Days on Wednesday.

“No touch upon that hypothesis,” he advised CBS Sports activities. Sankey later added: “We’re solely anxious concerning the 2021 season. Any person dropped a report from unnamed individuals.”

Texas and Oklahoma launched comparable statements refusing the acknowledge the studies.

“Hypothesis swirls round collegiate athletics. We won’t tackle rumors or hypothesis,” stated the Longhorns.

“The faculty athletics panorama is shifting always. We do not tackle each nameless rumor,” stated the Sooners.

In a latest name with Massive 12 stakeholders about CFP growth progress, Oklahoma president Joseph Harroz Jr. reiterated his college’s dedication to the BIg 12, a supply on the decision tells CBS Sports activities. My how instances have modified.

Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork made it clear to gathered media Wednesday that he desires the Aggies to be the one group from the Lone Star State within the convention. Texas A&M and Missouri have been the 2 groups that left the Massive 12 for the SEC within the final spherical of convention realignment almost a decade in the past.

“I have never learn the article, however for those who’re asking me to sort of touch upon school athletics, it is altering,” Bjork advised CBS Sports activities. “So what does that appear to be? I do not know. … We wish to be the one SEC program within the state of Texas. There is a purpose Texas A&M left the Massive 12: to face alone to have our personal id.”

There was speak at the moment about Texas and Oklahoma (together with Oklahoma State) probably leaving the Massive 12 for the Pac-12 (then Pac-10). These talks got here inside half-hour of changing into actuality.

In the end, they remained with the league they’ve been members of since 1996. Oklahoma was already a part of the Massive Eight when it transitioned into the Massive 12 in 1996 by including Texas as one among 4 applications from the defunct Southwest Convention.

Nonetheless, the Massive 12 was lowered to 10 groups throughout that spherical of realignment, and it has struggled to reclaim its footing amongst its Energy 5 friends. Texas and Oklahoma have propped up the league since its discount in dimension, and in the event that they did depart, it might put the Massive 12 on the point of collapse.

The additions of the Longhorns and Sooners would make the SEC the primary 16-team superconference — a growth long-discussed as a chance ought to there be one other spherical of convention realignment — whereas concurrently including huge model energy to a league already seen as the very best in school sports activities.

Nonetheless, Oklahoma and Texas will face resistance from inside the Massive 12 and past. Oklahoma State officers made it clear they don’t assist their potential departure for one more convention.

“We’ve heard unconfirmed studies that OU and UT approached Southeastern Convention officers about becoming a member of the SEC,” OSU said in a statement. “We’re gathering data and can monitor carefully. If true, we’d be gravely upset. Whereas we place a premium on historical past, loyalty and belief, be assured, we are going to aggressively defend and advance what’s greatest for Oklahoma State and our robust athletic program, which continues to excel within the Massive 12 and nationally.”

As for the SEC, its by-laws state that 11 of 14 establishments should vote within the affirmative to ask new members to the convention. There could also be some present SEC groups — along with Texas A&M — which can be reluctant to just accept further league members for myriad causes, together with issues about future growth into their states. Nonetheless, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reports that “getting 11 of the 14 votes would not look like a difficulty.”

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