HOUSTON — It’s official. The University of Houston is making a jump to the Big 12.
The announcement came this morning in a release from the conference.
Note: the video in this story is from a Sept. 4th broadcast — "Fans react to possibility of Houston Cougars joining the Big 12"
The UH Board of Regents voted to give Chancellor Renu Khator approval to negotiate and execute contracts in order to move the university’s athletics program. And now, it’s a done deal.
The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors this morning voted to extend membership invitations to not just the University of Houston but also Brigham Young University, the University of Central Florida and the University of Cincinnati.
UH later tweeted it had some "Big" news, adding it had accepted in the invitation.
Videoconference announcements with Big 12 and school leaders will happen later today, according to a statement.
"From a rivalry standpoint, huge news for UH. Playing those all those Texas schools on regular basis means — a lot," tweeted KHOU 11's Jason Bristol as this story was breaking last week.
News of the University of Houston’s move to the Big 12 comes after the University of Texas and Oklahoma announced they were ditching the Big 12 to head to the Southeastern Conference.
UH joins BYU, Central Florida and Cincinnati in joining the Big 12.
Reaction to the UH's announcement
People around campus seem to be excited about the move to a new conference.
"Whenever you hear the Big 12 you're like wow it’s a pretty big deal," Charity Smith, a UH freshman, said.
But it hasn’t been easy getting here, see the Coogs wanted to get in before. And finally, all of the hard work has paid off.
"Over the last decade Tier 1 status, Phi Beta Kappa, the Peach Bowl victory, medical school, the Final Four and now Power 5. It is really spectacular what the community can do," UH President Renu Khator said.
Students were excited about this announcement. They say it will only make the school’s sports teams even stronger.
"Only because the publicity the hype around playing big schools and being on national TV, it will attract D1 athletes across the nation," Rawlings Aibangbee, another student, said.
But it’s not just the sports teams the students are excited about. Even the faculty are happy about the possibilities.
"When we get more attention from the media, we get more financial resources and that can promote research at the university and opportunities for scholarships," Guillermo De Los Reyes, an associate professor of Latin American cultures, said.
In the end, everyone KHOU 11 News spoke with says the university and the city are ready for this big move.