Big 12 Conference offers membership to 4 schools

The Big 12 Conference officially invited four schools to join the conference amid the spate

The Big 12 Conference officially invited four schools to join the conference amid the spate of expansion within major collegiate athletics.

The conference’s board of directors voted to extend memberships to BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston on Friday. A news conference was scheduled for each school over the course of Friday afternoon.

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Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston are all members of the American Athletic Conference, and BYU’s teams have various conference affiliations. BYU is independent in football but competes in the West Coast Conference in basketball and its Olympic sports.

BYU said all of its programs would compete in the Big 12 starting in 2023-24. The AAC requires members to give 27 months’ notice before leaving the conference. AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco said he expects the schools to abide by the rules.

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“Today’s news confirms what we have said all along regarding our status as a power conference. The irony that three of our schools are being asked to take the place of the two marquee schools which are leaving the Big 12 is not lost on us. Our conference was targeted for exceeding expectations in a system that wasn’t designed to accommodate our success,” Aresco said.

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The SEC recently poached two schools from the Big 12 – Texas and Oklahoma. Those schools are set to join the conference officially in a few years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report