According to a report from USA Today Network, Oklahoma and Texas are set to get off the hook with the Big 12 for much less than previously anticipated, or at least that’s the narrative.
“The universities of Texas and Oklahoma, two of the most powerful brands in college sports, will leave the Big 12 Conference for the SEC in nine months but will suffer a much lesser financial impact from the move than the $160 million that was originally expected,” USA Today says.
Back in February, the Big 12 announced that Oklahoma and Texas would forego $100 million in order to leave for the SEC a year earlier than expected.
However, recent questions from USA Today revealed that $80 million of that is based on money the schools will not get in 2024-25, the year after the move. The remainder of that will come from cutting full revenue shares for 2023-24 that Texas, Oklahoma, and the rest of the Big 12’s members will be taking to finance payments promised to the four schools that joined the conference this summer.
Additionally, USA Today’s report also states that ESPN will front “transition” payments to Oklahoma and Texas to help them bridge the gap in their move from the Big 12 to the SEC.
Oklahoma and Texas will not receive anything from the SEC’s primary revenue-sharing pool in 2024-25, but they stand to collect millions through football- and men’s basketball-specific distributions that already existed under the SEC’s bylaws. They could receive additional money through other specially negotiated terms. And they will get what their agreements describe as “transition” payments being funded by ESPN.
“After Texas and Oklahoma made the decision to change conferences, those schools, along with the Big 12 and SEC, chose to accelerate the process and transition a year earlier,” ESPN said in a statement. “At that time, the media partners were brought in to reach a resolution that would satisfy all parties for the 2024-25 season.”
Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark told USA Today that he is very pleased that all parties were able to reach an agreement that will leave everyone happy with the outcome.
“This was a business decision,” Yormark said. “Historically the withdrawal from a conference has resulted in a negotiated settlement, and we believe we landed in a good place. Our future is as bright as it’s ever been.”