July 30, 2021
I am sure many of you have been inundated with news and speculation about the future of UT athletics throughout this long week. While I wanted to address the stories sooner than now, I needed to wait for our Board of Regents to weigh in on any conference actions. Today, our Board of Regents met and gave unanimous approval for one of the most monumental moves in our storied history. I am thrilled. It’s official! The University of Texas at Austin will be joining the Southeastern Conference in 2025.
Throughout the week, you have probably heard references to the “changing landscape of collegiate athletics.” Recognizing this reality, and with a commitment to position the university’s tradition of athletics excellence for generations to come, Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife, Athletics Director Chris Del Conte and I made the decision to look beyond the expiration of our current media rights contract with the Big 12. We asked the SEC to consider allowing our historic programs to compete in their unmatched conference. We are honored and grateful that they welcomed us.
During the past quarter of a century, we have enjoyed so many memorable moments in the Big 12. Our players, coaches, and alumni will be forever grateful for the fierce competition and glorious championship moments we experienced with our conference peers.
Looking ahead, I know many will be most excited about the return of time-honored rivalries with the Texas Aggies and the Arkansas Razorbacks, historic series that have given us some of our most exhilarating athletics moments. We will also be able to continue our rivalry with the University of Oklahoma, another key benefit to this transition.
As our Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte explained, “This will be the best move for our student athletes, as they will be competing on the finest stage in collegiate sports. It will allow them to play in the best time slots on the largest television networks, give them unmatched visibility and prepare them for a potential future in sports beyond UT.”
For now, our programs will focus on competing and winning in the Big 12. When our current contract expires, we will make the transition to the SEC, and I am confident that the level of competition we face in every sport will further inspire all of our sports teams to perform and compete at the highest level. I extend a debt of gratitude to the SEC and to you, Longhorn Nation, as we celebrate some of the most exciting news ever announced from these Forty Acres. Our most exciting sports memories are ahead of us.