New Big 12 Members Reportedly Nearing Eight-Figure Exit Fee From AAC

May 3, 2022, 3:03 PM
Big 12 Conference logo...
The Big 12 Conference wasn't shy about pulling out attendance numbers against the Pac-12. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – When BYU joins the Big 12 Conference, they will be joining with the three other new members in 2023.

Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported on May 3 that UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston “are negotiating with the American Athletic Conference a settlement in the $17 million to $20 million range.” That exit fee would allow the three AAC powers to leave the league and join the Big 12 beginning on July 1, 2023, along with BYU.

Each school would have to pay that fee, reaching up to $60 million for the AAC.

14-team Big 12 Conference in 2023

The Big 12 in 2023 and 2024 is expected to be a 14-team league. Part of the 14-teams will include Oklahoma and Texas before they move to the SEC. Then, beginning in 2025, the Big 12 will return to its namesake, 12 members.

Being an FBS Independent, BYU doesn’t have to worry about an exit fee. However, BYU will pay the West Coast Conference $500,000 to exit for the Olympic sports.

The question now will be whether the Big 12 incorporates divisions or not. Big 12 officials, school presidents, and ADs of the current and future schools are meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona this week to hammer out those details.

This week, Dennis Dodd from CBS reported that the Big 12 is awaiting a proposal from the NCAA Football Oversight Committee that would allow conferences to play conference championship games without divisions.

Last season, three of the Big 12 newcomers finished in the AP Top 25 poll for football. Led by Cincinnati who cracked into the College Football Playoff as a Group of Five team.

BYU and UCF have never been members of power conferences in their histories. Cincinnati was once a member of the Big East Conference, while Houston was a part of the old Southwest Conference.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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New Big 12 Members Reportedly Nearing Eight-Figure Exit Fee From AAC