TCU trustees approve move to the Big 12 in 2012

Posted Monday, Oct. 10, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
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TCU will join the Big 12 on July 1, 2012. TCU's board of trustees voted unanimously to approve the move Monday afternoon.

TCU, which was scheduled to join the Big East in July, instead will accept an invitation from the Big 12 and will begin competition in the 17-year old league next fall.

The Horned Frogs have competed in the Mountain West since 2005.

The Big 12 will be TCU’s fifth conference, if you include the tenuous connection to the Big East, since the Southwest Conference broke up after the 1995-1996 school season.

The Frogs were left out of the formation of the Big 12, which included former SWC opponents Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

Last month's announcement that A&M will move to the Southeastern Conference next July left the Big 12 looking for members.

TCU announced its plans to move to the Big East last November, but found itself looking for more solid ground when Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced last month they are moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference. That leaves the Big East with seven football-playing members.

Connecticut has also expressed a desire to leave the conference, giving TCU pause about the stability of the league.

Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, who will attend today’s news conference, announced last Monday that the league’s expansion committee would meet to consider alternatives later in the week.

But he gave no indication that the Big 12 was going to officially invite TCU last Thursday. Although several Big 12 officials, including Oklahoma president David Boren, had publicly endorsed adding TCU, neither TCU chancellor Victor Boschini nor athletic director Chris Del Conte had commented on the matter until Boschini released Thursday’s statement responding to the Big 12 invitation.

“These discussions with the Big 12 have huge implications for TCU,” Boschini said in the release. “It will allow us to return to old rivalries, something our fans and others have been advocating for many years.

"As always, we must consider what's best for TCU and our student-athletes in this ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing these discussions with the Big 12.”

TCU will have to pay the Big East a $5 million fee to break its commitment but will not be subject to the league’s 27-month block on leaving since TCU was never a full-fledged member, a source in TCU’s athletic department said.

Coming home

TCU conference history: Since the Southwest Conference dissolved after the 1995 season TCU has played in three different conferences. Although TCU announced in Nov. 2010 it was moving to the Big East, it will instead move to the Big 12 in July. Here’s a look at the history of TCU’s conference affiliation:

1923-1995

Southwest Conference

1996-2000

Western Athletic Conference

2001-04

Conference USA

2005-11

Mountain West

July 2012

Big 12

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760

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