Arizona State and Utah apply for Big 12 membership, per report

Aug 4, 2023, 2:38 PM

Michael Crow and Ray Anderson, Arizona State...

ASU president Michael Crow and athletic director Ray Anderson (Photos by Matt Layman / Arizona Sports)

(Photos by Matt Layman / Arizona Sports)

The Arizona State Sun Devils and Utah Utes have formally applied to join the Big 12, which will hold a call Friday to consider their membership, reports ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

The Big 12 has already voted on and approved the acquisition of the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday, reported Yahoo! Sports’ Ross Dellenger.

The next step for the Arizona schools to formally leave for the Big 12 would likely require a meeting and vote by the Arizona Board of Regents.

The decision for ASU and Utah to follow comes after the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies told Pac-12 leaders Friday morning they were ready to depart for the Big Ten.

The Sun Devils and Utes seeking a new home now leave the Pac-12 with Cal, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State as members who have not been reported to be seeking a new home. Washington State put out a statement Friday expressing disappointment in the dissolving Pac-12 conference.

In Arizona, reports of the Wildcats’ interest in moving to the Big 12 gained steam heading into the Arizona Board of Regents meeting on Thursday night.

The regents meeting Thursday, however, did not resolve whether the Wildcats jump to Big 12 as they’ve reportedly shown interest in.

Multiple reports indicated the Sun Devils’ reluctance to leave the Pac-12 and the regents’ desire for the rivals in the desert to stay in the same conference could swing one or both schools to remain in the Pac-12. Dellenger and Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel went as far as reporting that the Arizona Board of Regents “controls the decision — for both Arizona and ASU.”

Oregon and Washington’s expected move to the Big Ten will take place in 2024, after this current academic year. When it’s done, the Huskies and Ducks will become the 17th and 18th members of the Big Ten, and the third and fourth on the West Coast, joining USC and UCLA.

Arizona, ASU and Utah joining the Big 12 would take that conference to 16 teams. Arizona had leaned toward joining the conference more than ASU, but the Sun Devils’ reluctance likely loosened with the two biggest media brands in Oregon and Washington heading elsewhere.

The Pac-12 planned to vote on a grant of rights to bind committed members of the conference together on a meeting Friday morning, but that didn’t happen with the Ducks showing hesitancy about the future of the conference, reported Action Network’s Brett McMurphy and Dellenger.

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