UCF starts process of joining Big 12

UCF starts process of joining Big 12
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The University of Central Florida’s athletics program will join the Big 12 Conference by summer 2024, in a move that the school’s president said will help “enhance” the university’s reputation.

The UCF Board of Trustees voted Friday to begin a negotiation process to become the newest member of the Big 12 and exit the American Athletic Conference. The Big 12’s invitation is slated to take effect no later than July 1, 2024. University President Alex Cartwright will take the lead in negotiating terms of joining the Big 12 and leaving the American Athletic Conference.

He said during a special trustees meeting that the decision is a “big day” for UCF and its fan base, dubbed Knight Nation after the school’s mascot.

“This invitation to the Big 12 is a testament to our collective achievements and the outstanding accomplishments of our student-athletes and our coaches and staff over many years as we built our athletic program,” Cartwright said.

The Big 12’s Board of Directors on Friday voted to extend invitations to UCF, Brigham Young University, the University of Houston and the University of Cincinnati. The move represents a boost in stature for UCF’s football team, as the Big 12 is part of what’s known as college football’s “Power Five” conferences. That group also includes the Southeastern Conference, the Big 10, the Pac-12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference. The UCF football program has been on the rise in recent years, propelled by an undefeated regular season in 2018.

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