Big 12 Conference Moves to Add 4 New Members

In one other signal of a precarious period of realignment in school sports activities, the Big 12 Conference introduced invites Friday to Brigham Young University, Cincinnati, Houston and the University of Central Florida, with the colleges ready to be a part of as quickly as 2023.

The Big 12 had been shifting shortly to compensate for the departure of Texas and Oklahoma to the stacked Southeastern Conference, which homes three of the highest 5 soccer groups (with No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Georgia and No. 5 Texas A&M). In July, Texas and Oklahoma, two of the Big 12’s founding member colleges, introduced in a joint assertion that they’d not renew their present TV offers past 2025, leaving the convention with little selection however to begin looking for different candidates to fill the upcoming gap.

Houston, Central Florida and Cincinnati are at present within the American Athletic Conference, which can dwindle to 9 colleges after they depart. The A.A.C.’s guidelines require colleges to give a 27-month discover and pay a $10 million buyout earlier than exiting the convention.

Both Houston and B.Y.U. introduced that they’d be a part of the Big 12 by the 2023-24 season, which means that the convention might doubtlessly swell to 14 colleges if all 4 invitees be a part of the league earlier than Texas and Oklahoma’s scheduled departure of 2025. But Texas and Oklahoma might depart sooner.

In a press release, B.Y.U. President Kevin J Worthen mentioned becoming a member of the Big 12 offers B.Y.U., which is an impartial faculty in soccer, an “opportunity to reinforce that commitment for student-athletes, allowing them to compete at the highest level both on and off the field.”

Chris Pezman, Houston’s athletic director, in a press release described its transfer as a “years-in-the-making announcement.”

“Our collective past performances have led us to the opportunity we have today,” Pezman mentioned. “We are humbled, honored, excited and ready to get to work. Together, what we can accomplish is limitless.”

For the Big 12, the maneuver represents yet one more bounce-back in current historical past. The convention appeared to be on the snapping point within the early 2010s when 4 colleges (Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado and Texas A&M) left the convention throughout one other period of N.C.A.A. realignment. That left the Big 12 with solely 10 colleges. The league managed to survive with an inflow of TV cash from Fox and when Texas, which had threatened a departure to what was then the Pacific 10, agreed to keep put (till lately).

And simply final month, the Pac 12, Big Ten and A.C.C. shaped an alliance in response to the bolstering of the SEC as a approach to navigate the present period of realignment and create “a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling.”

Since then, the Pac 12 has denied any intentions of enlargement, and no formal enlargement plans have come from the Big Ten or A.C.C., both. After Friday’s growth, the monthslong realignment merry-go-round within the Power 5 might decelerate.

The A.A.C.’s Commissioner Mike Aresco mentioned in a press release that the realignment information 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,” Aresco added. “Our conference was targeted for exceeding expectations in a system that wasn’t designed to accommodate our success.”

The universities invited to the Big 12 scheduled information conferences for Friday afternoon.