The league's Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to add the Aggies as their 13th member.
The next question for the SEC is who's next? Sources have indicated if Missouri does not join the league, the SEC is prepared to go through the 2012-13 season with only 13 members. If Missouri remains in the Big 12, the most likely candidates appear Virginia Tech or Florida State, CBSSports.com's Tony Barnhart reported.
Adding Texas A&M is the first expansion for the SEC since September 1991 when the University of South Carolina joined the league. Arkansas joined the SEC in August of 1991. With the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina, the SEC was the first conference to split into divisions and add a conference championship game in 1992.
“The Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family,” Dr. Bernie Machen, chair of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors and president of the University of Florida said in a statement. “The addition of Texas A&M University as the SEC’s 13th member gives our league a prestigious academic institution with a strong athletic tradition and a culture similar to our current institutions.”
Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin, who told CBSSports.com on Saturday, he expected any legal issues to be resolved "shortly" also issued a statement.
“The Southeastern Conference provides Texas A&M the national visibility that our great university and our student-athletes deserve,” Loftin said. “We are excited to begin competition in the nation’s premier athletic conference. This is a 100-year decision that we have addressed carefully and methodically, and I believe the Southeastern Conference gives the Aggies the best situation of any conference in the country.”
Texas A&M, located in College Station, will also be the third institution in the SEC with membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, joining Florida and Vanderbilt. Texas A&M's 50,000 enrollment ranks as the nation's sixth-largest university, with 360,000 former students worldwide.
By moving to the SEC, Texas A&M and Texas officials have hinted this might be the last season for the rivalry between the Aggies and Longhorns.
“On behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans, I welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “Texas A&M is a nationally-prominent institution on and off the field and a great fit for the SEC tradition of excellence—athletically, academically and culturally.”The Aggies sponsor 20 varsity sports. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country. Women’s sports include basketball, equestrian, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country and volleyball. Texas A&M participates in every sport sponsored by the SEC except gymnastics and the SEC sponsors every sport the Aggies participate in except equestrian.