Cincinnati, Houston, UCF and BYU to Join Big 12 in Summer of 2023

Adam WellsJune 10, 2022

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04: Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell  runs onto the field with his players before the game against the Houston Cougars and the Cincinnati Bearcats on December 4, 2021, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Big 12 will add four new schools in the summer of 2023.

Central Florida, Cincinnati, Houston and BYU will officially join the conference next summer.

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco announced Friday the AAC has reached early-exit agreements with UCF, Cincinnati and Houston that will take effect July 1, 2023, and allow them to move to the Big 12.

Chris Hummer @chris_hummer

UCF, Cincinnati and Houston are officially headed to the Big 12 in 2023. <a href="https://t.co/70XfFtxuZQ">pic.twitter.com/70XfFtxuZQ</a>

The Big 12 announced in September that all four schools would join the conference "no later than the 2024-25 athletic year."

Per ESPN's Heather Dinich, AAC bylaws require schools to give a 27-month notice before they leave in addition to paying a $10 million buyout fee. The earliest exit date for the schools if they abided by those rules would have been July 1, 2024.

Aresco told Dinich the AAC was willing to negotiate a higher exit fee that would allow UCF, Cincinnati and Houston to leave early:

"We typically do, because it's not a great situation when you know somebody's leaving. Often you can mitigate some of that by just again getting a larger exit fee and having them leave earlier so we'll certainly be willing to negotiate that as we've done in the past and as other conferences have done in the past, but I can't tell you precisely yet at this point, nobody's indicated what year."

Per Brett McMurphy of the Action Network, the three schools are paying $18 million apiece to leave early after the AAC initially sought $45 million.

All of these moves come after Texas and Oklahoma accepted invitations in July to join the SEC from the Big 12.

Per Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman, the 2024-25 athletic year is "still a more realistic target date" for the Longhorns and Sooners to leave.

If that ends up being the case, the Big 12 will have 14 members for the 2023-24 athletic year.