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SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

Posted on: August 14, 2011 4:05 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:44 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The SEC has just finished its scheduled meeting of its presidents and chancellors, and unfortunately for secession-minded Texas A&M fans, the conference is staying put at 12 teams -- for now. Here's the full statement released by presidents and chancellors chair (and Florida president) Bernie Machen:

“The SEC Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment. We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league. We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion. No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”

What Machen didn't say is that Texas A&M won't be invited to the SEC; if the chancellors and presidents didn't want the Aggies to come, the statement would likely have been worded with a bit more finality. As it stands, the conference is clearly leaving the door open to expansion.

It's also worth pointing out that the Texas A&M Board of Regents has yet to authorize school president R. Bowen Loftin (who did not attend the SEC's meeting) to negotiate its conference standing; that action is set to take place Monday. Texas A&M is still a member of the Big 12, and it might not even be legal for the SEC to invite the Aggies at this point.  In other words, the "future conditions" Machen talks about may be as simple as Texas A&M applying to the SEC, or at the very least setting an end date to its affiliation to the Big 12. Either way, the metaphorical ball likely wasn't in the SEC's court to begin with.

Moreover, Texas state Rep. Dan Branch has called for a hearing before his Committee on Higher Education on Tuesday, with officials from the Big 12, SEC and Texas A&M invited. The Texas state legislation has been active in conference affiliation matters in the past; it pushed for Baylor's inclusion alongside Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech in the "Pac-16" plan that eventually fell through, for example. Branch has said it would be "inappropriate" for Texas A&M to go to the SEC before the Tuesday meeting, and Loftin said that he would be present at that meeting, and that the Regents.

Arkansas chancellor Dave Gearheart attended the meeting, and said that while no action was taken on Texas A&M, the school was certainly one of the topics of discussion. "It was really an open discussion, not just about A&M but about the future of the conference and the future of other conferences," Gearhart said. "We did talk about Texas A&M. It's a great university, a great place. But I think the decision was to make no decision at this particular time."

This issue isn't put to bed by any stretch. An unnamed SEC official told the New York Times' Pete Thamel that the meeting was to let Texas A&M "get its house in order." But for now, Texas A&M is stuck with the Big 12. Saturday, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe issued a statement that the conference had "unanimous desires" for Texas A&M to remain a member, and that the conference "took actions [...] to adequately address those concerns" that Texas A&M had raised.

Texas A&M's main problem revolved around the upcoming Longhorn Network, the Texas-affiliated sports channel set to launch this fall. In particular, Texas A&M was among many Big 12 members who objected to the channel's plans to air an in-conference football game and high school games involving high-profile recruits. Both of those options have since been taken off the table, with the NCAA issuing a moratorium on all collegiate networks airing high school games.

Still, the mere suggestion that these ideas were planned by the network may have been enough to sour Texas A&M on the Big 12 for good, regardless of what the Longhorn Network actually does, and it probably didn't help matters when Beebe told the conference that it can survive without Texas A&M and speculated on candidates to replace the Aggies, namely Houston and Notre Dame

Members of the Texas A&M coaching staff and its players declined any comment that indicated any interest in the potential move. Head coach Mike Sherman said "I don't pay a lot of attention to [the SEC issue]" after an afternoon practice on Sunday. Senior safety Trent Hunter agreed, saying "it's not anything that's going to affect us playing SMU in that first week."

Loftin issued a statement through Texas A&M on Sunday on the issue.

"As we have seen over the past several days, there has been a considerable amount of misinformation regarding these discussions and any associated timelines. The chairman of our board has indicated that the regents will proceed with tomorrow's agenda item, which authorizes the president of Texas A&M to take all actions related to athletic conference alignment. I will also accept Chairman Branch's invitation to participate in his committee's hearing on Tuesday. These are extremely complex issues, and it is imperative that we proceed methodically and in the best interests of Texas A&M." 

RapidReporter Brent Zwenerman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:35 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

West Virginia is not really a "northern" state.  It's a border state.. much like Missouri.   But you may be right... for other reasons.  Missouri might be a good fit.  They would not do well in football in the SEC but they would be competive in Basketball.  

Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:34 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

I think that the SEC should add both Texas A&M and Missouri. That should keep Florida and South Carolina happy. It would also give A&M a natural rival. I can't see adding West Virginia as they are a Northern school. I don't see adding Virginia Tech because I don't think any of the top tier SEC teams want another top tier team added. They could maybe add Virginia but I think Missouri would be better.

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:10 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

A & M is a solid program, but the SEC is tough ... they look like a mid tier SEC team most of the time. I understand that they wish to get out of the shadow of Texas , but I'm not sure this is a great move for them.  They will lose their natural rivals.   But it's all about money... so the SEC might expand into Texas.  The 14th team seems to be the most interesting question.  Who will it be?   The reports say that Florida will nix FSU and South Carolina will nix Clemson.. so who?  West Virginia?  Virginia Tech?  It will be interesting..

Since: Aug 15, 2011
Posted on: August 15, 2011 7:02 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

SEC should grab Missouri and A&M and keep things even. Mizzou would be a better fit than A&M. Then the Big 12 conference is history unless the Big 10 learns how to count.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2011 6:02 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

When Texas A&M finally take care of the legal stuff it need to rid itself or the Big-12, then they would be eligible to be asked by the sec to join the conference.

I think as long as they are affiliated with a conference they can not be invited by another conference  to join their conference.

The Big -12 have this fee that all departing schools are required to pay as Colorado and Nebraska had to pay last year after leaving the conference.

I think A&M will become a part of the sec in the next couple of years and perhaps as early as next season..

A&M would prefer the sec as oppose to the PCA-12 because I think A&M believe Texas would be asked once again to join the PAC-12. A&M is pissed at Texas because of the Long horns TV network. I don’t think the SEC would want Texas either with their own TV network

The PAC-12 TV contract I set up regionally and could easily absorb the Long Horn network into one of the regional networks after a few legal things are ironed out.  

The sec did not exactly come out and tell A&M no you would not be able to join the conference. Far from it.

If this is the case the left over teams will become a part of the PAC-12 and whom ever else the sec would want. The big-12 would become irrelevant without either Texas or Texas A&M.

The PAC-12 reached out to Texas last season and was rebuffed after a meeting of the other Big-12 schools. I am sure the PAC-12 would make another overture to Texas once again as well as Oklahoma and perhaps Missouri.

I think both the PAC-12 and the sec would expand to a minimum of 14 teams next season and more the following season unless they go all out next year an go to 16 teams.


Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: August 15, 2011 3:47 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

Now that the SEC spared themselves any legal problems, A&M will begin the process of cutting ties with the big12. The big12 is falling apart and A&M is moving at the right time. They will be joining the SEC and expect it to be announced by this time next year! 

Gig'em Aggies, it's the right move!  

Since: Aug 15, 2011
Posted on: August 15, 2011 3:21 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

Good thing the SEC didn't accept them.  Would have hurt the conference more than helped it

Since: Mar 26, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2011 2:40 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

ESPN has become a joke. They are now officially the National Enquirer of sports news. They make A&M look foolish for trying to leave a conference why? Because ESPN has a monetary stake in the Longhorn Network and its ability to provide games. A&M, if given any opportunity, should try to put themselves into a conference that doesnt have the Longhorn AD as a defacto president of the conference. The Longhorns ran Arkansas away back in the 1990's and has proven many times in the past not to be able to play with with others. I am a UofH alum and am in fear of being invited to the Big12-2 for the very same reason. I would rather be in the Big East/ Mountain West or any other conference that doen NOT include the Longhorns.

Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2011 2:37 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

If I was the Big 12 I'd the Aggies to go F- themselves.  Really don't need them.  Big 12 should try to get TCU (which would be an upgrade over A&M) and Arkansas.  Throw in Houston and all the sudden you have a very powerful conference.  Also a legal conference unlike the overrated, overhyped S.candals E.verywhere C.onference.....


Since: Nov 23, 2010
Posted on: August 15, 2011 1:39 pm

SEC finishes meeting, doesn't invite Texas A&M

   The NCAA should pass a rule limiting the size of all conferences to 12 teams.  A 16 team conference is stupidly large, it has no meaning the real conference would be whatever division a team is in.  If you are going to win a conference you should come as close as possible to playing every team every year.  Frown The only thing driving conference expansion is money, it serves no other purpose.

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