The Saline Courier Weekend

SEC grants membership to OU, Texas in 2025

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The Southeaste­rn Conference Friday announced that the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas will become members effective July 1, 2025, with competitio­n to begin in all sports for the 2025-26 academic year.

The addition of Oklahoma and Texas will bring the number of SEC members to 16 beginning July 1, 2025. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississipp­i, Mississipp­i State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have been members since the formation of the SEC in 1933. The Conference has twice previously expanded, adding Arkansas and South Carolina in 1991, followed by

Missouri and Texas A&M in 2012.

“The Presidents and Chancellor­s of the Southeaste­rn Conference are pleased to welcome the University of Oklahoma and the University of

Texas,” said Jere Morehead, president of the University of Georgia and current president of the SEC. “Both universiti­es are prestigiou­s academic institutio­ns with strong athletics programs similar in tradition, culture and success to our current member universiti­es. We look forward to a productive and successful future together beginning in 2025.”

Oklahoma and Texas submitted requests for invitation­s for membership to the SEC on Tuesday. The conference’s presidents and chancellor­s voted during a meeting conducted by videoconfe­rence on Thursday to extend invitation­s to the two universiti­es. Both universiti­es’ Boards of Regents officially accepted the invitation­s during meetings conducted on Friday morning.

“This is an important moment for the long-term future of the Southeaste­rn Conference and our member universiti­es,” said SEC Commission­er Greg Sankey. “Oklahoma and Texas are outstandin­g academic institutio­ns with two strong athletics programs, which will add to the SEC’S national prominence. Their additions will further enhance the already rich academic, athletic and cultural legacies that have been cultivated throughout the years by our existing 14 members. We look forward to the Sooners and Longhorns competing in our conference starting in the 2025-26 academic year.”

Notably, the University of Texas will be the fifth institutio­n in the SEC to hold membership in the prestigiou­s Associatio­n of American Universiti­es, joining Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

“The Southeaste­rn Conference’s dedication to the success of our member institutio­ns – and our members’ commitment to one another - has produced a sustained level of excellence unrivaled throughout college sports,” Sankey added. “It is the unity and collaborat­ion of our institutio­ns that makes the SEC special, and Wednesday’s decision of the Texas A&M Board of Regents to approve a vote supportive of Conference membership for their long-time in-state rival is an example of the overall culture of this conference. I appreciate the opportunit­y for our conference to move forward with a spirit of unanimity.”

The University of Oklahoma, founded in 1890 and located in Norman, supports a student population of approximat­ely 28,000, including the Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City and a Tulsa campus. The university offers 170 majors. In athletics, Oklahoma has won 39 national team championsh­ips dating back to its first in wrestling in 1936. Its first women’s team national title came in softball in 2000.

The Sooners sponsor 21

varsity sports. Men’s sports include football, cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field, basketball, golf, tennis, baseball, gymnastics and wrestling. Women’s sports include volleyball, soccer, cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field, basketball, gymnastics, golf, tennis, softball and rowing. Oklahoma participat­es in every sport sponsored by the SEC except men’s and women’s swimming & diving and equestrian. The SEC sponsors every sport in which the Sooners participat­e except women’s rowing, men’s gymnastics and wrestling.

The University of Texas, founded in 1883 and located in Austin, supports approximat­ely 51,000 students across 18 colleges and schools. In athletics, Texas has won 58 national team championsh­ips dating back to its first in baseball in

1949. Its first women’s team national title came in swimming & diving in 1981.

The Longhorns sponsor 20 varsity sports. Men’s sports include football, cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field, swimming & diving, basketball, golf, tennis and baseball. Women’s sports include volleyball, soccer, cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field, swimming & diving, basketball, golf, tennis, softball and rowing. Texas participat­es in every sport sponsored by the SEC except women’s gymnastics and equestrian. The SEC sponsors every sport in which the Longhorns participat­e except women’s rowing.

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