The Longhorn football team at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.

Credit: Jamie Harms via USA TODAY Sports

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The University of Texas at Austin announced Monday morning that it will not renew its sports media rights contract with the Big 12 that is set to end in 2025, giving the first formal signal that it’s planning to leave the athletics conference.

The decision comes after rumors surfaced last week that UT-Austin and the University of Oklahoma would leave the Big 12 and join the Southeastern Conference, which would then include 16 schools and create the nation’s first super conference.

The move was announced in a joint statement from UT-Austin and Oklahoma.

“Both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future,” the statement read.

The idea has prompted some pushback in the Texas Legislature, especially among members who represent or attended the three Texas schools that would be left behind in the conference, Baylor University, Texas Christian University and Texas Tech University.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin, Baylor University and Texas Tech University have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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