The man who has worked so furiously to hold the Big 12 together says he's taking reports of Texas A&M to the SEC "very seriously." Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe spoke to the American-Statesman on Wednesday night about the issue. He said he has not been in contact with any Texas A&M administration members, Beebe has been preoccupied with Mark Emmert's presidential retreat in Indianapolis.
"I've been doing that and dealing with this firestorm at the same time," Beebe said. "I'll put it this way, I'm taking it very seriously. I've been talking to a number of people. Obviously, there are a significant number of Aggie supporters who are interested in going in that direction."
One reason Aggie supporters are reportedly so adamant about the move is in response to the conference's handling of Texas and the ESPN-supported Longhorn Network. Texas president William Powers was also at the NCAA summit, and reportedly also discussed the issue with Beebe. What many dismissed as internet rumors took on new life when Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin released this statement on Wednesday:
President Loftin is committed to doing what is best for Texas A&M not only now, but also in the future. We continue to have wide-ranging conversations regarding all aspects of the university, including both academics and athletics.
The timing and wording of that message made it appear awfully cryptic considering the circumstances. All of the Big 12 athletic directors met a week ago to discuss the Longhorn Network, and they voted unanimously to postpone the broadcasting of high school games for one year. At the time, it seemed as though the weakened conference was once again on the same page.
"We had a tremendous meeting with the athletic directors," Beebe told the American-Statesman. "My view was everybody was comfortable with it."
It seems Texas A&M is either uncomfortable with the current conditions in the Big 12, or just exploring their options. Either way all signs point to these conversations with the SEC appear to be happening. But we can only wait to see if anything comes from them.
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