TCU accepts invitation to join Big 12

By ANGELA K. BROWN | October 10, 2011 | 7:50 PM EDT

TCU quarterback Casey Pachall looks for a receiver against San Diego State during the first half of an NCAA football game, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, in San Diego. Pachall threw two touchdown in the first half. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — TCU has accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference.

Athletic director Chris Del Conte says the opportunity is "living proof that dreams do come true."

Monday's move could provide some much-needed stability to the Big 12, which lost Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado (Pac-12) over the summer and will lose Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference next year. Missouri is also exploring a move to the SEC.

TCU currently competes in the Mountain West Conference and was set to join the Big East next July. Instead, the Big 12 went public with its interest in TCU last week.

Del Conte says TCU will pay an exit fee, but declined to confirm it was the $5 million required by the Big East policy.