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University of Missouri joins Southeastern Conference

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 1:38 PM EST, Sun November 6, 2011
Missouri's addition increases SEC membership to 14 institutions.
Missouri's addition increases SEC membership to 14 institutions.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • University of Missouri will join the SEC in July
  • Sports competition will begin in the 2012-13 school year
  • The conference also added Texas A&M in September

(CNN) -- The University of Missouri will join the Southeastern Conference effective in July, with sports competition to begin in the 2012-13 academic year, the conference said in a statement Sunday.

Missouri's addition increases the conference membership to 14 institutions, the SEC said. The conference announced the addition of Texas A&M University in September. Both colleges previously were members of the Big 12 Conference.

The additions are the first since 1991, when the University of South Carolina and the University of Arkansas joined the league, the conference said. The following year, the conference split into two divisions and added a conference championship game.

"The Southeastern Conference is a highly successful, stable, premier athletic conference that offers exciting opportunities for the University of Missouri," Chancellor Brady Deaton said in the SEC statement. "We came to this decision after careful consideration of the long term best interests of our university. 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."

With an enrollment of 33,800 students, Missouri is the fourth-largest institution in the SEC, with Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M having larger student enrollment, the conference said.

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