BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — University of Colorado regents on Tuesday authorized the school’s chancellor to move forward with plans for the school to join the Pac-10 on July 1.

An agreement with the Big 12, the school’s current conference, would allow it to withhold $6.86 million in revenues that it would be entitled to receive before then and to join the Pac-10 a year early.

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The regents made the decision during a closed meeting Tuesday.

Attorneys for the Big 12 and Pac-10 have been negotiating an exit strategy for weeks. CU previously announced it would switch conferences in 2012.

CU athletic director Mike Bohn insisted the move would help the university with donors and with recruiting and that ticket sales would rise with CU’s early move.

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Chancellor Phil DiStefano said Colorado had been prepared to leave the conference for $9 million or less.

“To be under that was obviously a benefit to us,” he said. He credited a mediator for successful negotiations for Colorado to leave the Big 12 early.

DiStefano said he is confident the Pac-10 will loan CU money against future revenues to pay for the cost of switching conferences.

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The university will not have to schedule an additional home game for 2011 to fill out a six-game home schedule