Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White


Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Texas and Oklahoma officially join SEC

Alabama+and+Texas+football+helmets+are+set+up+to+face+each+other+during+College+GameDay+prior+to+the+game+in+2023.
CW / Riley Thompson
Alabama and Texas football helmets are set up to face each other during College GameDay prior to the game in 2023.

July 1 was expansion day in the Southeastern Conference, as the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas athletic programs made the official move from the Big 12. After three years plotting their departure, the two programs have paid in exit fees and have begun their celebrations.

The bombshell news dropped in summer 2021 when the schools announced that they’d be making the move after the end of the Big 12 media deal which was in place until 2025. Now, after paying their combined $100 million early exit fees and putting a new deal with the SEC in place, the two schools are here to stay.

The move ensures continued vitality for the two athletic juggernauts and better competition across all sports and renewed rivalries. 

Both schools put together huge gatherings to celebrate the move. In Norman, elated Sooners fans celebrated with games, basketball goals and even a mechanical bull.

In Austin, fans flocked from all over eastern Texas to join in the festivities. Longhorn fans celebrated with games, food, parties and a performance from famous rapper Pitbull. 

“This is a day we have been building toward for years,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “Our fans are really excited about this. You can tell by the turnout.”

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione called the day a “celebration” and said that,  “It’s about engaging our fans and our stakeholders. That’s what this is, rather than having a quick press conference and an announcement and moving on.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey visited both campuses July 1 during the festivities. Afterward, he commented, “We’ve had the mantra, ‘It Just Means More,’ since 2016. Oklahoma and Texas fit that clearly.”

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