COLUMBIA — Missouri will join the Southeastern Conference, according to a news release posted on the SEC's website.
"We came to this decision after careful consideration of the long-term best interests of our university," MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said in the release.
A "press conference and celebration" with Deaton, MU Athletics Director Mike Alden, University of Florida President Bernie Machen and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the MU Student Center.
Missouri will join the conference effective July 1 and will compete in the SEC for the 2012-13 academic year, according to the news release.
"The Southeastern Conference is a highly successful, stable, premier athletic conference that offers exciting opportunities for the University of Missouri," Deaton said in the news release. "We believe the Southeastern Conference is an outstanding home for the Mizzou Tigers, and we take great pride in our association with this distinguished league."
Missouri, which currently competes in the Big 12 Conference, will be the 14th member of the SEC. Texas A&M announced in September that it will leave the Big 12 for the SEC. Missouri will be the fourth-largest university by enrollment to compete in the SEC.
"I am pleased to officially welcome the University of Missouri to the SEC family on behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said in the release. "Missouri is an outstanding academic institution with a strong athletic program. We look forward to having the Tigers compete in our league starting in 2012."
The Tigers compete in 20 varsity sports, including men's baseball, basketball, football, golf, swimming and diving, wrestling, indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country. Women’s sports include basketball, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, cross country and volleyball.