A few hours after the reports began to surface this morning concerning the Big 12 Conference formally inviting West Virginia, the Big 12 Conference announced West Virginia will join the Big 12.

The Big 12 Board of Directors unanimously voted to accept West Virginia as a full conference member starting July 1, 2012.  West Virginia will replace Missouri, which is expected to move to the SEC.

One item of note with today's announcement from the Big 12: West Virginia was able to avoid the 27 month waiting period to leave the Big East Conference for the Big 12 Conference.

"The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors are excited to welcome another outstanding institution to the Conference," said Burns Hargis, Chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors and President of Oklahoma State University. "The addition of West Virginia, while expanding the reach of the Big 12, brings an impressive institution with esteemed academics and a proud athletic tradition into the Conference. This is another step in building a strong foundation for the future of the Big 12."

"The Big 12 is a perfect fit for West Virginia University," said WVU President Dr. James P. Clements. "It is a strong conference that, like WVU, values quality academic and athletic programs, and has a great tradition of success. This is a very exciting time for WVU and Mountaineer nation. I am confident that the future of WVU athletics has never been more promising."

West Virginia University, located in Morgantown, WV sponsors 17 varsity sports. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, soccer, swimming & diving and wrestling. Women’s sports are basketball, cross country, gymnastics, rowing, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field and volleyball. The Mountaineers also boast a co-ed rifle squad. According to the Big 12, the conference sponsors every sport the Mountaineers participate in except rifle and men’s soccer.

"We are excited to add West Virginia to our exceptional lineup of Conference members," said Big 12 Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas. "They bring an excellent overall athletic program to the Big 12 and allow the league to expand into an area that boasts a passionate group of fans and alumni throughout its region."

The 10 schools expected to compete in the Big 12 Conference in 2012-2013 will be Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, TCU, Texas, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.