TCU officially to move to Big 12
Texas Christian University on Monday officially announced it will be joining the Big 12 Conference in 2012.
The move will become effective July 1 next year and will see the Horned Frogs participate in the conference in all sports from the 2012-13 season.
TCU, which last November announced plans to leave the Mountain West Conference to join the Big East, will instead become the Big 12's 10th member starting next fall, and its first new member since the conference began in 1996.
The Big 12 invited TCU to join its ranks last week and the overture was enough to force the school to reconsider its plans, with a final decision coming Monday after TCU trustees met in Fort Worth.
"Joining the Big 12 connects us not only to schools with whom we share a rich tradition in sports, but also to schools committed to academic excellence," TCU chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said in a statement.
"Over the past six years, TCU has seen unprecedented success in academics and athletics. Participating in this conference allows us to strengthen the core of the TCU experience, which includes providing students with major opportunities in a personalized environment. It is very much in line with our overall goal to create a world-class university."
Burns Hargis, chair of the Big 12 board of directors and president of Oklahoma State University, added, "The addition of TCU gives us a prestigious institution with great academics, strong financial support, outstanding athletic tradition, and a perfect geographic fit. We have been working tirelessly to build an even stronger Conference and think this is an extremely positive step."
TCU will fill the void left by Texas A&M, which in September announced its intentions to join the Southeastern Conference (SEC), starting in 2012. The last-minute decision to shun the Big East reportedly will cost TCU a $5 million exit fee, per conference policy.
Meanwhile, Big 12 officials continue to hold out hope Missouri will not jump ship to join the SEC. The presidents and chancellors of the SEC schools met Monday, but did not announce any decision regarding Missouri becoming the conference's 14th member.
Former Big 12 schools Nebraska and Colorado left the conference earlier this year to join the Big Ten and Pacific-12, respectively.
Acquiring TCU was the Big 12's latest attempt to stabilize the conference after it dodged what appeared to be its complete collapse this summer, with reports indicating as many as four additional schools — including Texas and Oklahoma — were exploring possible departures.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe resigned his post last month, making way for former Big Eight commissioner Chuck Neinas to step in on an interim basis.