SEC votes to include Texas A&M; Baylor cries, Whoa, partna!
Aggies celebrate their win over the rival Texas Longhorns last year. It's unclear if they can yet celebrate a move to the SEC.
September 7th, 2011
03:17 PM ET

SEC votes to include Texas A&M; Baylor cries, Whoa, partna!

The votes are in, but it appears there is still at least one hurdle in Texas A&M University's lengthy endeavor to join the Southeastern Conference.

The school said a week ago that on June 30 it will would vacate the Big 12 Conference, of which it has been a member since before the 1996-97 season. There was rampant speculation that the Aggies would join the powerhouse SEC, but President R. Bowen Loftin last week said only that he hoped the exit process was "as amicable and prompt as possible."

On Wednesday, the president issued a statement saying he was pleased the SEC presidents and chancellors voted Tuesday night to accept A&M as their 13th team.

"However, this acceptance is conditional, and we are disappointed in the threats made by one of the Big 12 member institutions to coerce Texas A&M into staying in the Big 12 Conference," Loftin wrote. "These actions go against the commitment that was made by this university and the Big 12 on September 2. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC."

Seems like the process will be neither prompt nor amicable.

Sports Illustrated is reporting that fellow Big 12 member Baylor University is threatening legal action, temporarily delaying the move, which is contingent on each Big 12 team waiving its right to a legal challenge.

The conference's members had agreed not to sue over the move, but a source told the magazine that Baylor broke ranks. In a statement, University of Florida President Bernie Machen, chair of the SEC presidents group, said the conference would not accept the Aggies until the legal issues were resolved, according to Sports Illustrated.

"The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure," Machen said. "The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011."

On that date, Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe wrote SEC Commissioner Mike Slive to say Big 12 members had agreed not to take legal action against the SEC so long as the conference publicly announced A&M's admission by Thursday at 6 p.m. ET

"It is in the best interests of each of our conferences and our member institutions of higher education to waive any and all legal actions by either conference and its members resulting from admission of Texas A&M into the SEC, as long as such admission is confirmed publicly by September 8, 2011," the letter said. (Read the entire letter as a pdf)

An undated statement on Baylor's website slams the proposed move by Texas A&M and casts it as a bane on Texas' rich football history. From pee wee football to Friday Night Lights to the proud college traditions of Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech to the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texas, "football in Texas is more than a passing interest, it is a part of the fabric of this great state," goes the statement.
It also asserts that the departure of Texas A&M, and possibly other Big 12 schools, threatens 100-year-old rivalries, as well as the ability of Texas schools to recruit premier student athletes. The statement also mentions educational concerns: "Will Texans watch as our most precious resources — the great minds of the next generation — are exported to new conference institutions?"

It calls on Texans to implore university leaders "to stop this madness that will lead to the dissolution of the Big 12 and the end of an era for Texas."

"Texans must stand up and call the leadership of the University of Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech to clear-headed thinking about the state's future. Texas' flagship institutions of higher learning are the guardians of the state's future — their loyalties must first be to Texas and to her citizens," the statement reads.

If Texas A&M were to join the SEC, it would join arguably the best college football conference in the land. The Auburn Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide and Louisiana State Tigers have all won the BCS National Championship in the past five years, and the Florida Gators have won it twice in that time.

Though the Aggies haven't won a football championship in more than seven decades, A&M is no slouch in athletics. The school's track, softball, golf, equestrian and women's basketball teams have all won national championships in the past 25 years. Also, the football team enjoys such a fervent following that the fans are regarded as the squad's "12th Man."

There were signs Wednesday of other concerns about the Aggies' potential exodus, namely its effect on the Dallas economy and one of football's most colorful rivalries. Emboldened by A&M's potential move, one of the Big 12's most prolific members is reconsidering its commitment to the conference, CNN affiliate WFAA reported.

The Oklahoma Sooners, presently ranked the top team in the country, said last week that they had also been approached by other conferences. If Oklahoma leaves (speculation suggests the Sooners could join the Pac-12), it could put the kibosh on the Oklahoma-Texas showdown known as the Red River Rivalry.

The teams have been playing annually since 1900 and at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas since 1932, WFAA reported. The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated that in 2007 alone the game injected more than $30 million into the local economy with $18 million of that staying in Dallas County, according to WFAA.

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Filed under: College football • Football • Sports • Texas • U.S.
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. bill

    @Etbu; You do if they're more of a detriment than help to the conference. Nebraska and Colorado(in it's hey day) were much more important to the conference than Texas, add Arkansas to the mix and the conference would've been tons better without Texas and the havoc they created.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Etbu

      What havoc tu and ou bring in the money and they tried to get ATM in on the tv deal 4 years ago when they started trying to do it and ATM didn't want to , now they got there panties in a wad because tu got the deal done . Look Texas is one of the biggest paydays in colleage and u know it , they would be accepted in any conference with know ? Asked

      September 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bull Halsey

    A&M, Florida, and Vandy will dominate SEC baseball.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Old Artillery Man

      South Carolina will be there in baseball!

      September 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bull Halsey

    GIG Em AGGIES! Hope yall beat the Hell out of the sissy T-sippers (Texas)

    September 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ryan

    Baylor needs to stop making themselves look like a bunch of misfit girls that nobody wants around. Let A&M, OU, tu, OSU, and Tech go make their money and compete with the big boys of college football. Baylor brings in next to $0 in football revenue and lets face it, their Alum numbers are ridiculously small...similar to TCU/SMU. Baylor got luck to be added into the Big XII by baylor alum in the Texas House/Senate nearly 2 decades ago and have not proven themselves as contenders in anything except women's basketball, and the men's bball team has been good the last 2yrs. Overall, they're just not attractive. It's pretty sad when you start to waste your time and $$ on conjuring up some "KEEP TEXAS FOOTBALL" adds and start putting links on your website to email other university's presidents. GIVE UP! You will not win. If you sue A&M, or OU or tu, the alum can simply hold a COOKIE BAKE SALE and raise the millions you're trying to sue them for. CHeers to putting one more beat down on you at Kyle Field this year, I will be there to see it. Aggies, let's BTHO Idaho and the rest of the Big XII in our last season! WHOOP!

    September 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • TD

      All of your "Tradition" is based on being the whipping boy of The University of Texas.

      Good luck in the SEC. Good luck coming up with new satanic chants.

      September 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      TD
      All of your "Tradition" is based on being the whipping boy of The University of Texas.

      Good luck in the SEC. Good luck coming up with new satanic chants.
      Hmmmm, seems like I have seen the aggies win more than a few games against texas. that's what makes a good rivalry. as for 'satanic chants' , c'mon...

      September 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bill

    @Etbu; OU will more likely try to go to the Big 10 and take Oklahoma St. With them as a package deal. UT will probably end up in the Pac 12 like you said, good riddance too(UT destroyed every conference they belonged to). Enjoy that west coast no man's land the rest of us will be watching real college football(i.e. The Big 1O and the SEC).

    September 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Etbu

      Bill u must be a aggie fan , Texas will always be in the hunt 90% of the time. The PAC has already contacted ou . Tu @ ou will stay together to much money not too , watch and see

      September 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nosycat

    Bring back the Southwest Conference. Biggest mistake ever to break it up. Nobody won anything and the state of Texas lost it all. Oh for the good ol' days.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KL

    This issues stems from the inequity in payouts within the conference and the Longhorn Network. Texas A&M had a chance last year to leave if they couldn't live with these terms (which were known at that time). I actually applaud Baylor for their stance. They and a few other schools (possibly Iowa State?) will suffer significant financial fallout if they are not able to land in another AQ BCS conference. They should be able to sue to recover their financial losses from the recently signed TV contract.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Etbu

      Kl the aggies were invited to go in on the tv deal4 years ago by Texas and they didn't want to do it so tu went ahead and got the deal done, now they are mad about it . Besides they are going to loose out the sec going to chew tem up in football.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bill

    @Etbu; being contacted by the Pac12 doesn't mean squat, it's where Oklahoma wants to go that matters any conference will gladly take them and they're a much better fit in the Big 10. The tv contract would also be a much better deal financially for Oklahoma in the Big 10. As for the tv deal that hurt the conference as a whole Nebraska and Colorado left and Texas A&M and Oklahoma are about to because of it. Enjoy that no man's land that is the Pac 12 but then Texas will do something to screw that conference up also.

    September 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Etbu

      Dont be such a hater, I can't help that the aggies suck and are a bunch of crybabies , as u just said it's about the tv money , so Texas gets there own network to get there share of the tv money

      September 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bill

    Should've qualified: Texas' tv deal hurt the conference as a whole, there are a lot more teams in the Big 12 besides Texas teams. Oh and I imagine the Pac 12 will have something to say about Texas' tv contract before they allow them to join.

    September 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RUFFNUTT (kcmo resident and smoker of fine purple kush)

    my dog just ate the nighbors cat... i think they are going to be mad...
    .
    anyone got a tide box and a bag of concrete?

    September 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bill

    @jeremy. Nebraska beat Florida in 95 and Tennessee in 97 for the championship, since then the SEC has beaten the big 12 twice so what's your point? There actually hasn't been many meetings between the two conferences for the championship,when the Big 12's been up the SEC's been down and vise versa.

    September 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bill

    @Jeremy; before the BCS championship series the Big 12(8) and SEC met 6 times in bowl games which ended up deciding the national champion: the Big 12(8) went 5-1 in those games. Moreover the all time record of the SEC against the Big12(8) is 43-43-1. So I ask again, what's your point?

    September 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bill

    @KL the full terms of the contract weren't disclosed until well after the other schools agreed to stay put if they had been the Big 12 would've probably disbanded then or it may have kicked UT out and added BYU and a couple of other teams.

    September 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bud

    Baylor who?

    September 8, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    Invite Baylor to join the SEC. Move Auburn to the SEC East.

    September 8, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      Ha ha ha ha ha! Hilarious

      September 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
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