Texas A&M has officially notified the Big 12 that it will explore its options pertaining to conference affiliation, the university announced on Thursday.
Texas A&M says if it chooses to withdraw from the Big 12, it will do so in accordance with Big 12 bylaws, and would be supportive of the Big 12′s efforts to secure a new member in the conference.
Aggies take next step in process
Texas A&M has yet to formally withdraw from the Big 12, but they took the next step down that road Thursday, writes David Ubben. Blog “As I have indicated previously, we are working very deliberately to act in the best long-term interests of both Texas A&M and the state of Texas. This truly is a 100-year decision,” Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin said in a release. “While we understand the desire of all parties to quickly reach a resolution, these are extremely complex issues that we are addressing methodically.”
On Aug. 14, the Southeastern Conference announced that its presidents had met and decided to take no action regarding Texas A&M or any other university regarding future expansion. The decision is believed to have been a statement to allow the SEC and Texas A&M to establish a clear timeline between the university’s pursuit of the conference.
The SEC openly pursuing Texas A&M as a member of the Big 12 could open the conference up to litigation under tortious interference, or interference with a written contract.
“Ultimately, we are seeking to generate greater visibility nationwide for Texas A&M and our championship-caliber student-athletes, as well as secure the necessary and stable financial resources to support our athletic and academic programs,” Loftin said. “As a public university, Texas A&M owes it to the state’s taxpayers to maximize our assets and generate additional revenues both now and well into the future.”
The Big 12′s board of directors is scheduled to meet on Saturday.
David Ubben covers Big 12 football for ESPN.com.
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