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Wed August 31, 2011
Texas A&M Asks To Leave Big 12 Conference
Texas A&M notified the Big 12 Conference that it had intentions to play elsewhere. In a press release, the College Station, Texas university said if it is accepted in another conference, it would end its Big 12 membership on June 30, 2012.
Here's a bit from President R. Bowen Loftin:
"As I have indicated throughout this process, 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. "This is a 100-year decision that we have addressed carefully and methodically. Texas A&M is an extraordinary institution, and we look forward to what the future may hold for Aggies worldwide."
While Loftin did not specify an application timeline in his letter to the Big 12, he previously indicated that he does not intend to prolong the application process for an extended period of time.
USA Today reports that the Aggies are expected to move to the Southeastern Conference, which it was a member of until it broke up in 1996. The New York Times says now two big questions remain: What team replaces A&M in the Big 12 and what team does the SEC recruit to round off 14 teams?
Attention now turns to which university the Big 12 will bring in to replace Texas A&M. League officials have long stated their wish list as Notre Dame, Arkansas and Brigham Young for a 10th member, with full knowledge of the minuscule odds of Notre Dame or Arkansas leaving their current situations for the Big 12.
... Who will become the SEC's 14th team? The move, if a team is plucked from the Atlantic Coast Conference or the Big East, could prompt a major shift in the college sports landscape. The SEC is not opposed to playing the 2012 season with a 13-team league, but league officials expect the league to balance out at 14 for scheduling purposes.