Following the news that the University of Utah is officially in the Big 12 Conference, here’s what many prominent college officials, from University of Utah president Taylor Randall to BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe, are saying as the Utes joined their new home.

Taylor Randall, University of Utah president

“I am pleased to announce that the University of Utah will join the Big 12 Conference at the beginning of the 2024-25 athletics season. 

“I am grateful for all of the hard work my Pac-12 Conference colleagues invested in an effort to find solutions to keep the conference whole and provide a pathway forward to benefit all of our students, fans and communities. Ultimately, stronger forces within national collegiate athletics and the greater media landscape brought us to today’s decision. I am hopeful the relationships we have made over the past 12 years within the Pac-12 remain strong.”

“To our students, student-athletes, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, donors, community leaders, fans and entire state, thank you for your support and patience as we’ve navigated the complexity, frustration, and significance of conference realignment.”

“I am very enthusiastic about the University of Utah’s future within the Big 12. Joining our Pac-12 and Association of American Universities peers from Colorado and Arizona is important to our mission and makes sense, as does, renewing our historic in-state rivalry with Brigham Young University.”

“Being part of the Pac-12 has elevated the University of Utah and demonstrated our student-athletes can compete at the highest levels on and off the field, our move to the Big 12 will not change that position. I want to be clear that our focus and mission is to provide world-class education, research, service, and patient care. Joining the Big 12 accelerates our progress in all four areas. We are making this change because it helps us on our path to become a top 10 public university with unsurpassed societal impact.

“As an alum and a passionate fan of the U, I remain committed to our student-athletes, our coaches, and athletics staff to provide them opportunities to be successful and to drive our national reputation. This move will allow us to continue along an upwards trajectory. 

“I want to thank the Big 12 Conference and Commissioner Brett Yormark for the invitation to join and I look forward to our future partnership.”

Brett Yormark, Big 12 commissioner

“We are thrilled to welcome Arizona, Arizona State and Utah to the Big 12. The Conference is gaining three premier institutions both academically and athletically, and the entire Big 12 looks forward to working alongside their presidents, athletic directors, student-athletes and administrators.”

Mark Harlan, Utah athletic director

“President (Taylor) Randall and I, along with the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, have been fully engaged in pursuing the best possible path for the University of Utah and our athletics programs to excel.”

“After very thorough and comprehensive efforts to preserve our present conference affiliation in the aftermath of the announced departures of UCLA and USC last year, we have explored all options and have determined that the right path for Utah to continue to build on its tremendous growth trajectory is to accept an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference.”

Tom Holmoe, BYU athletic director

“I’m grateful to Big 12 leadership for seeing this through. The conference keeps getting stronger, and we are thankful to add more Big 12 rivals in closer proximity.”

University of Utah officially joins the Big 12 Conference
Utah, BYU fans and others react to Utes’ move to the Big 12

Shane Reese, BYU president

“We are excited to now welcome Arizona, Arizona State and Utah to the Big 12, in addition to Colorado. Having 16 member institutions will be a great strength to the conference moving forward.”

Spencer Cox, Governor of Utah

“Congratulations to the University of Utah as they enter a new chapter in the Big 12. The past week has been absolutely insane and Ute fans need to know that Pres. Randall and his team were absolutely brilliant in navigating an impossible situation. You should be proud.”

“I am more concerned and disturbed than ever at the decaying landscape of college athletics, where a small group of media executives can destroy generations of history and tradition. Regardless of your fandom or loyalties, the death of the PAC12 is bad for our institutions.”

“I’m also amazed at how wrong so many of the insiders on this platform and others have been. Regardless, I can’t emphasize enough how impressed I am with Pres. Randall. I’m not sure there’s another person in this state that could have navigated/negotiated this the way he did.”

“Now that Utah is even more solidly a BIG 12 state, I also want to thank BYU Pres. Reese for his goodness and professionalism. While the rivalry will continue to exist on the field, we are lucky to have these amazing leaders working together to lift up instead of tear down.”

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“So Ute fans, hold your heads high. You have every reason to be proud of your PAC12 domination AND this new opportunity. This was absolutely the right decision and the future is incredibly bright. Please know that this Aggie is cheering for your success.”

Christian Gardner, Chair, University of Utah Board of Trustees

“I am grateful for the leadership shown by President Taylor Randall and Athletics Director Mark Harlan during this dynamic period in the history of collegiate athletics and the University of Utah. The executive committee of the university’s Board of Trustees has been kept apprised of discussions and various scenarios throughout the process of determining the best course of action for the university, and we are in agreement that it is in the best interests of our student athletes, fans and the greater university community to join the Big 12 Conference.”

“I particularly appreciate the extraordinary effort by President Randall and Director Harlan over the past month to represent the best interests of the University of Utah and the Pac-12 in these discussions. The Pac-12 has a storied history and the University of Utah is proud to have been welcomed and accepted as a peer in the league over the past 12 years.”

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