Deal lets Cincy, Houston, UCF join Big 12 in 2023

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will officially join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023, after reaching an exit agreement with the American Athletic Conference.

Deal lets Cincy, Houston, UCF join Big 12 in 2023

Cincinnati, Houston, UCF reach exit deal with American, to join Big 12 in 2023 11:31 AM ET Andrea AdelsonESPN Senior Writer Close ACC reporter. Joined ESPN.com in 2010. Graduate of the University of Florida. Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will officially join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023, after reaching an exit agreement with the American Athletic Conference, the league and schools announced Friday. After Oklahoma and Texas announced planned moves to the SEC last year, the Big 12 added Cincinnati, Houston, UCF and BYU to its conference. The initial goal was to get the three schools from the American into the Big 12 in time for the 2023 season. BYU is currently an independent and will join the conference next year as well. Editor's Picks Oklahoma and Texas will depart for the SEC in 2025, though that timeline could change. If they stay in the Big 12 through 2025, the Big 12 would be at 14 teams for two seasons. According to the term sheet, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will each pay $18 million to exit the American. The schools had been paying a $10 million exit fee in four annual payments through 2024, and they agreed to pay an additional $8 million -- spread over 12 payments from 2025 to 2036 -- to leave in 2023. "I would like to thank UCF President Alexander Cartwright, Cincinnati President Neville Pinto and Houston President Renu Khator -- as well as Tulane President Michael Fitts, who is chair of our Board of Directors -- for their efforts and leadership to arrive at a sensible resolution to the three schools' departure from the conference," American commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. "All three institutions enjoyed tremendous success under the American Athletic Conference banner, and all three were instrumental in taking the conference to great heights, both athletically and academically. We wish them the best and look forward to having them compete in our conference in 2022-23." Cincinnati earned a College Football Playoff spot last season, while UCF and Houston have earned New Year's Six bowl bids as part of the American. The American has added UAB, FAU, Charlotte, North Texas, Rice and UT-San Antonio. They will begin play in the conference beginning with the 2023 season.