University of Cincinnati invited to join Big 12 in latest round of college conference realignment

CINCINNATI — The Big 12 Conference has extended membership invitations to four schools, including the University of Cincinnati, in the latest round of college athletics realignment.

>>RELATED: Big 12 votes to invite Houston, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati to conference

UC will join Brigham Young University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Houston in Friday’s Big 12 expansion, the conference announced in media release.

“As necessary, institutional Boards will be in session today to act on Big 12 Conference membership,” the conference spokesperson said in the announcement.

The videoconference for UC will happen at 4:30 p.m. local time.

UC has been rumored to join the conference on multiple occasions, most recently in the early summer when Big 12 staples and powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma announced they were leaving for the Southeastern Conference starting at the end of the current Big 12 media deal in 2025.

>>RELATED: SEC invites Oklahoma, Texas to join conference in 2025

This is not the first time Cincinnati has jumped conferences, and the athletic program has been part of conference shifts over the last few years.

After several successful years in Conference USA, UC moved to the Big East in the 2005 academic year. The Big East would later split in 2012, after Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined the Atlantic Coast Conference. The remaining basketball Big East schools, that did not have football, took the conference name, leaving UC looking for a new conference.

UC then joined the newly formed American Athletic Conference, along with some former Big East members that still had football.

UC had also been rumored to possibly join the Big 12 in 2012, after Missouri and Texas A&M left for the SEC and the Big 12 added West Virginia and Texas Christian. The possible addition of UC in 2012 and the years after was viewed to create a possible geographical rival with West Virginia, given the two schools relative proximity, especially when compared to the other Big 12 schools across Texas, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Pending the officially approval, the four schools extended invitations Friday will join the remaining members of Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, and West Virginia for a total of 12 members, after Texas and Oklahoma leave.

This is a developing story and we’ll update this page as we learn more.