BYU will begin participating in the Big 12 Conference in the 2023-24 athletic season, per a release from BYU’s athletic department on Friday.
The release also provided some clarity on what sports the Cougars will participate in. The Cougars will participate in every sport sponsored by the Big 12 except equestrian, rowing and wrestling. That means the Cougars, who are independent in football, will leave its other conference affiliations — namely the West Coast Conference — to join the Big 12 for the 2023-24 season.
The only sport BYU fields that the Big 12 does not sponsor is men’s volleyball.
That timeline to join the Big 12 lines up with a report on Thursday by The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, who noted what the Cougars might have to pay the WCC if they chose to leave the league on an accelerated timeline.
The Cougars were last a member of the Mountain West Conference for football, but walked away from that affiliation a decade ago to go independent.
The release noted the Cougars will play in the WCC for the next two seasons.
“We have said all along that the decisions about where we play, who we play and what conference we compete in are about the student-athletes first and how we can help them achieve excellence,” said Tom Holmoe, BYU director of athletics. “Competing on the Big 12 stage provides more opportunities for our student-athletes. That’s what it’s all about.”
BYU’s release also noted the Big 12 will honor the institution’s long-standing Sunday-play policy, allowing the Cougars to schedule around Sunday competition.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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