UH to join Big 12 in July 2023

Courtesy of UH athletics

Courtesy of UH athletics

UH will officially join the Big 12 Conference on July 1, 2023 after reaching an exit agreement to leave the American Athletic Conference on Friday morning. 

“Today’s announcement comes with tremendous optimism and excitement,” said UH vice president of athletics Chris Pezman. “This is the product of many years of vision, leadership and dedication. As we look forward to the opportunity ahead, we also thank the American Athletic Conference for the decade-long partnership.”

UH will have to pay an early exit fee of $18 million over a period of 14 years. Pezman said the original $10 million is the AAC fee to leave early and must be paid prior to 2025. The additional $8 million will be paid starting in 2025 over a 12-year period. 

Pezman also said that UH will be a fully vested Big 12 member, receiving the full payout from the conference, beginning in year three. Pezman declined to reveal what the payout will look like during the University’s first two years in the Big 12.

In September, the University announced it had accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 after the news broke that Texas and Oklahoma would be departing for the SEC in 2025.

UH will finish out its tenure in the AAC during the 2022-23 academic year before jumping ship to the Big 12 along with BYU, Cincinnati and UCF.

“We look forward to finishing strong in The American next year before starting a new era of Houston Athletics in the Big 12,” said UH president Renu Khator. “The competition will be fierce, but we are primed and ready to accept the challenge.”

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