WATCH: Big 12 conference accepts 4 new schools

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 3:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:13 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec and Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt held a news conference Friday afternoon to discuss the invitations sent to Brigham Young University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Houston, inviting them to join the Big 12 Conference.

“Right now our complete focus is to make the Big 12 conference as strong as it can possibly be,” Hocutt said. “I expect that Texas Tech will play a leadership role in that. We’re going to be a Power Five conference, and we’re not going to stop talking about being relevant nationally, competing for national championships.”

Schovanec started the news conference with saying, “It’s been an exciting day. We met this morning and the board of directors voted to admit four new members into the Big 12. We’ve had press events with each of those four institutions and the common message I shared was that when we began this process, the board of directors were focused on strengthening the Big 12. And I’m convinced we’ve done that. I said that a bigger, stronger, more national Big 12 conference is good for college athletics. And we’ve certainly expanded the breadth of this conference. But beyond just athletic issues, there’s a good cultural fit. We’ve added schools of high academic quality, and as we visited with those four institutions today, you couldn’t help but be impressed by the tremendous enthusiasm they felt in being part of the Big 12. Not just the institutions, but the communities where they are located. I think this is a very, very good day for the Big 12. It’s a good day for Texas Tech. And I feel very good about the future of this league.”

“You’re looking for the best universities with the best programs. These schools rose to the top,” said Hocutt.

“You add three states, you add a time zone, two states are known for terrific high school football in Ohio and Florida, so those are all positives, said Schovanec.

“We fully expect Texas and Oklahoma to continue to honor their verbal commitment to remain with the league through the 2024-25 academic year. BYU is committed to joining us for the 2023 football season, so the ‘23-’24 season. The three schools Cincinnati, BYU and Central Florida no later than the ‘24 football season and could be possibly sooner than that.”

There will be an overlap where there will be 14 members of the Big 12 conference.

It was a unanimous decision to accept these schools. Hocutt says this isn’t the end of expansion, and more will come when the TV contract ends in 2025.

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