Texas A&M took another major step toward leaving the Big 12 and pursuing Southeastern Conference membership on Thursday when it sent a letter to the Big 12 commissioner saying it was exploring other conference affiliation.
In the letter sent to Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe Thursday afternoon, Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin said the school wanted to comply with Big 12 by-laws should it withdraw.
???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,??? Loftin said in a statement. ???While we understand the desire of all parties to quickly reach a resolution, these are extremely complex issues that we are addressing methodically.???
???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. 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 Dallas Morning News reported that this action is similar to the procedure followed by Nebraska when it left the Big 12 for the Big Ten, although, unlike Nebraska, Texas A&M did not specify a conference it was considering.
???They have to unencumber themselves from the Big 12,??? an SEC official told the New York Times in Thursday???s editions.
The Aggies are meeting the legal concerns expressed by the SEC and its attorneys regarding a Big 12 exit.
When Texas A&M would officially join the SEC, if such an agreement were reached, is unclear.
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