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A Message from President Harroz – OU Moving to SEC

Interlocking OU logo
University Seal, The University of Oklahoma, Office of the President
February 9, 2023

Dear OU Family,

Today we announced that the University of Oklahoma and the Big 12 Conference agreed to terms that will enable us to officially join the SEC for the fall 2024 athletics season, pending final approval of the OU Board of Regents. This comes one year earlier than originally expected, and we are pleased we could arrive at this decision in close collaboration with Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark and other Big 12 Conference members. Together, we created a path forward that delivers the stability and certainty we have all sought over the past 18 months.

From the beginning, we have been committed to fulfilling our contractual obligations to the Big 12. As time progressed, we, Commissioner Yormark, and everyone involved recognized our common interest in an earlier departure. With a new era of collegiate sports fully upon us, we took advantage of the opportunity to explore a mutually beneficial earlier exit.

With this agreement to join the SEC in 2024, we have immediate clarity and command of our own future. It gives us the chance to quickly reap the benefits of this transition – from exciting competition on the finest stage in collegiate sports to a top-tier fan experience, to more appealing game times and a greater national visibility that will allow us to share the OU story to people across the country. Moving to the SEC will most obviously impact OU Athletics, but this move will ultimately benefit our entire university, as it affords us the ability to aggressively invest in our academic and research missions. Our Strategic Plan includes our ambition to join the Association of American Universities – a prestigious coalition of tier one research universities – and moving into a conference with more AAU institutions offers an opportunity to align OU to our aspirational peers.

Our nearly three-decade tenure in the Big 12 has brought us many historic rivalries and exhilarating memories with esteemed opponents, and we look forward to finishing our remaining time in the league with intensity and sportsmanship.

As we prepare to face our new conference rivals next year, we are eager to contribute our iconic traditions and competitiveness to the SEC. It’s our belief that the undeniable power of Sooner Magic will only make us, and our new conference partners, stronger.

Live On, University,

Joseph Harroz, Jr.