At the Big 12’s basketball media day in October, new commissioner Brett Yormark spoke definitively about Oklahoma and Texas’ timeline for joining the SEC. “They’re going to be here through ‘25,” he told reporters. “They’ve committed themselves in advance of me getting here, and they’ve reiterated that commitment.”

Behind the scenes, though, that’s no longer the case.

Multiple sources confirmed to The Athletic that discussions have been ongoing for several months regarding the Red River rivals leaving the Big 12 a year earlier than planned, in time for the 2024 football season. Big 12 officials held a meeting last week in Las Vegas, and in the portion of the meeting in which Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte and Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione were recused because officials were discussing future business, “momentum” emerged for an early exit, according to an administrator within the SEC. An administrator within the Big 12 confirmed that the tone in the league regarding this topic shifted following that meeting.

“They’re definitely engaged on it and moving towards something where they will leave after next season,” a Big 12 school official said.

“It’s likely they are leaving early,” said a person with knowledge of the discussions.

One Big 12 school official said he believes there will be resolution in a matter of weeks, not months, and that the issue may be contributing to a delay in releasing the league’s 2023 football schedule. That official echoed others who believe an earlier divorce would benefit all parties involved.

The Action Network first reported on the discussions.

The timing of such a move would make sense on several fronts. The SEC’s new television deal with ESPN begins that season. So will the 12-team College Football Playoff. And if it happens, the SEC’s expansion to 16 teams would coincide with the Big Ten’s, with the league adding USC and UCLA in ’24. Meanwhile, four new schools — BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF — will be beginning Big 12 play next season.