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OU football: Oklahoma, Texas to leave Big 12; both will inform conference it won't renew contracts upon expiration, per reports

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Marcus Major

Sooners running back Marcus Major carries the ball during the 2020 Red River Showdown on Oct. 10, 2020, in Dallas.

Oklahoma and Texas are planning to inform the Big 12 that both schools will not renew with the conference when its grant of rights expire in 2025, per a report by Horns247's Chip Brown. The Athletic's Sam Khan Jr later confirmed Brown's report Friday.

According to both reports, the Sooners and Longhorns will send a letter to the Big 12 about the matter as early as Monday.

Earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle first reported that OU and Texas had reached out this offseason to the SEC about potentially joining the conference in the future. Stadium's Brett McMurphy also reported Friday that officials from both schools began talks with the SEC in "late December (or) early January."

After reports surfaced, the Big 12 held a meeting Thursday between the conference's athletic directors and CEOs about Oklahoma and UT's interest in leaving the Big 12. Although the Sooners and Longhorns were invited to attend the meeting, neither school was present. Officials from every other Big 12 school were in attendance.

Upon the meeting's conclusion, the conference highlighted its main points of discussion in a statement to media members.

"Oklahoma and Texas are founding members of the Big 12 and we value their traditions and history of success," the Big 12 wrote in its released statement. "The eight members strongly desire to retain the current composition, which has proven it can compete at the highest levels. There is a recognition that institutions may act in their own self-interest, however there is an expectation that members adhere to conference bylaws and enforcement of Grant of Rights agreements.

"This is a time of dramatic change within intercollegiate athletics that presents both opportunities and challenges, and the Big 12 conference looks forward to continuing to play a major role in its evolution."

Formed in 1994, the Big 12 started play in fall of 1996. The Sooners and Longhorns were among the original 12 schools that founded the conference. OU has won the Big 12 Championship 14 times and the last six consecutively, while Texas has the second most conference title wins with three.

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said the program has "a lot of respect" for the conference at Big 12 Media Days on July 14.

"It takes so much (to win in the Big 12)," Riley said. "Everybody's a good coach, everybody has good players. Each year is so different, each game is so different. We're excited about some of the success we’ve had, but we know that’s not going to make a lot of difference in this coming year.”

Chandler Engelbrecht is a journalism senior and the Daily's assistant sports editor. He currently covers OU football and has previously covered OU men's basketball, volleyball and men's gymnastics.

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