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Goodbye, Big East! TCU Set To Join Big 12

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM)- TCU has been invited to join the Big 12 Conference and is expected to accept the offer for the 2012-13 school year.

The Big 12 released this statement Thursday morning:

Acting upon a unanimous recommendation of its expansion subcommittee, the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors this morning authorized negotiations with Texas Christian University to become the Conference’s tenth member, and instructed interim commissioner Chuck Neinas to immediately begin discussions with TCU. The action of the Board was without dissent. On the advice of legal counsel The University of Missouri did not participate in the vote.

TCU was scheduled to join the Big East on July 1, 2012, but instead will likely join the Big 12. By leaving the Big East before it officially became a member, the Horned Frogs will have to pay a $5 million exit fee but is not bound by the Big East’s 27 month requirement for notification.

TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini also released a statement Thursday:

These discussions with the Big 12 have huge implications for TCU. It will allow us to return to old rivalries, something our fans and others have been advocating for many years. As always, we must consider what’s best for TCU and our student-athletes in this ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing these discussions with the Big 12.

The addition of TCU replaces Texas A&M, which is headed to the SEC. If Missouri remains in the league, sources said the Big 12 is expected to remain at 10 schools.

Missouri hoped to join the Big Ten last year but the league instead chose Nebraska. The university official said the Big Ten remains Missouri’s top choice but that conference “has no interest.”

“That’s what’s left,” the official said, referring to the SEC.  The SEC has not invited Missouri to join that conference.

If Missouri leaves for the SEC, the Big 12 likely would add three more schools to get to 12. The leading candidates would be Louisville, BYU, West Virginia and Cincinnati.

The loss of TCU is another blow to the Big East. The league also lost Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, but Commissioner John Marinatto has said previously the Big East would make Pitt and Syracuse stay the 27 months until 2014.

The Big 12 is still waiting to get a commitment from Missouri.

(Copyright 2011 CBS Local.  The Associated Press and CBSSports.com contributed to this report.)

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