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Big 12 Conference extends membership invitation to UCF, amongst others

The news comes after the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma accepted invitations to join the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

DALLAS — On Friday, the Big 12 Conference announced Brigham Young University (BYU), the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Houston (UH) will become members no later than the 2024-25 athletic year.

The news comes after the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma accepted invitations to join the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in late July.

This marks the second time in the conference’s 26-year history new members were added. Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have been members since the Big 12 began in 1996, with TCU and West Virginia joining in 2011. 

“The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors entered this process with the singular focus to strengthen and stabilize the Conference,” noted Lawrence Schovanec, Chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors, and President of Texas Tech University.  “With the addition of these four tradition-rich institutions we have set the Big 12 on a continued path of success.  We look forward to having BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston under the Big 12 banner, both athletically and academically.” 

“Today’s vote solidifies the long-term trajectory of the Big 12 Conference,” stated Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “I applaud the efforts of our presidents, chancellors and athletics directors of our continuing members to expeditiously consider and take this action. The addition of these four fine institutions ensures the continued success of the Big 12 at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics competition.” 

ABOUT BYU

Founded in 1875, Brigham Young University is located in Provo, Utah.  The campus is home to 33,181 undergraduate students, pursuing degrees in 186 majors.  Athletically, the Cougars compete in 21 sports.  They have won 12 NCAA titles all-time, claimed 296 conference championships; and have been home to 1,385 All-Americans, one Heisman Trophy winner, and 75 Olympians.

Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, swimming & diving, tennis, and volleyball. Its women’s sports are basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, softball, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, and volleyball.  The Cougars participate in every sport sponsored by the Big 12 except equestrian, rowing, and wrestling.  The Big 12 sponsors every sport the Cougars compete in except men’s volleyball.

 ABOUT UCF

Located in Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida is a metropolitan research university that was founded in 1963. UCF is recognized nationally for its innovation, affordability and for fostering social mobility. With approximately 70,000 students, 13 colleges and 230 degree programs, the university helps to develop the skilled talent needed to advance industry and solve society’s greatest challenges. In the 16 varsity sports UCF sponsors, Knights teams have won a total of 148 conference championships. In 2017 its football team capped an undefeated season with a Peach Bowl win over Auburn. 

Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer and tennis. Its women’s sports are basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. The Knights participate in every sport sponsored by the Big 12 except equestrian, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling. The Big 12 sponsors every sport the Knights compete in except men’s soccer.

 ABOUT CINCINNATI

The University of Cincinnati is a public research university with an enrollment of 46,798.  Founded in 1819, UC offers 414 degree programs. Over its athletics history, Bearcat teams have combined to win 116 conference championships.  The men’s basketball program has accounted for 41 conference titles and two national championships. This past season, the UC football team took a perfect record and a #8 CFP ranking into a Peach Bowl date with Georgia. 

Cincinnati sponsors 18 varsity sports. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, and swimming & diving.  Its women’s sports are basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track & field, lacrosse, outdoor track & field, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, and volleyball.   The Bearcats participate in every sport sponsored by the Big 12 except equestrian, gymnastics, men’s tennis, rowing, softball, and wrestling.  The Big 12 sponsors every sport the Bearcats compete in except women’s lacrosse.

ABOUT UH

Established in 1927 the University of Houston is a Tier I research institution, with over 47,000 students enrolled in its 408 undergraduate, masters and PhD programs. Its athletic success includes 158 conference titles, 17 NCAA team champions, 1,059 All-Americans, 63 Olympians and one Heisman Trophy winner. Last season was highlighted by the men’s basketball team’s run to the Final Four. 

Houston sponsors 17 varsity sports. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field.  Its women’s sports are basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, and volleyball.  The Cougars participate in every sport sponsored by the Big 12 except equestrian, gymnastics, men’s tennis, rowing and wrestling.  The Big 12 sponsors every sport in which the Cougars compete. 

Beginning July 1, 2025, the Big 12 Conference will be comprised of 12 universities – Baylor, BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, and West Virginia. The additions jump the Big 12 footprint from five states and 40.2 million people, to eight states with over 76.5 million total inhabitants