Five days ago, the Big 12 institutions agreed received “written assurance” from the Big 12 that the SEC could add Texas A&M without any legal issues. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to expansion: Baylor has changed its mind and has the SEC, at least for now, in a holding pattern.
Consequently, Texas A&M officials are left in a wait-and-see mode, releasing a statement from school president R. Bowen Loftin.
"We are certainly pleased with the action taken last night by the presidents and chancellors of the Southeastern Conference to unanimously accept Texas A&M as the league’s 13th member. 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 Big 12 Conference. These actions go against the commitment that was made by this university and the Big 12 on Sept. 2. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC."
Can Baylor’s threat of a lawsuit really keep Texas A&M out of the SEC? Baylor's Bad News Bears is going to stop the Big 12 from crumbling? Stay tuned.
Here’s the SEC’s official statement from Florida President Dr. Bernie Machen, Chair of the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors.
“After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC,” Machen said. “We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action.
“The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. 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.”