ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Colorado regents approve Buffs to leave Pac-12 for Big 12 after 2023-24

Jul 27, 2023, 2:34 PM | Updated: 6:51 pm

Deion Sanders, Colorado Buffaloes, Big 12...

Head coach Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes watches as his team warms up prior to their spring game at Folsom Field on April 22, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The Colorado Board of Regents on Thursday approved the University of Colorado Boulder to join the Big 12 conference after the 2023-24 school year.

“After careful thought and consideration, it was determined that a switch in conference would give CU Boulder the stability, resources, and exposure necessary for long-term future success in a college athletics environment that is constantly evolving,” Colorado chancellor Philip DiStefano and athletic director Rick George said in a joint release. “The Big 12’s national reach across three time zones as well as our shared creative vision for the future we feel makes it an excellent fit for CU Boulder, our students, faculty, and alumni.

“These decisions are never easy and we’ve valued our 12 years as proud members of the Pac-12 Conference. We look forward to achieving new goals while embarking on this exciting next era as members of the Big 12 Conference.”

The Pac-12 released a statement:

The regents voted 9-0 in approval of the move.

Big 12 presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to accept the Buffaloes as a new member on Wednesday night. Colorado had yet to formally submit an application to the conference heading into the Thursday board meeting.

“I want to thank the Pac 12 Conference for the home it has provided to CU athletics for more than a decade,” Colorado president Todd Saliman said in a statement. “We look forward to maintaining the many partnerships developed with our Pac 12 colleagues. The landscape of collegiate sports is ever-evolving, and the University of Colorado Boulder has determined the Big 12 is the best future fit for our athletic teams.

“The move is good for our student-athletes and the university. It will help advance our commitment to supporting CU student-athletes in their academic and athletic pursuits in future years. I look forward to a great season ahead for all our teams.”

The Pac-12’s presidents and athletic directors on Thursday are expected to discuss their yet-to-be-concluded media rights contract as well as Colorado’s future.

The immediate fallout could point directly at decisions made by the Arizona schools.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Wednesday that Arizona “has been the most engaged among those three schools,” and that likely has to do with the mutual draw of improving an already-powerful basketball conference.

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