Blog Entry

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M

Posted on: August 14, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 10:46 am
Aggie yell leaders are going to have quite a challenge this season shouting over the chants of "S-E-C, S-E-C."

In Big 12 stadiums.

Texas A&M will remain in its present conference for at least one more day. That's one day too long for scores of Aggies after Embarrassment Sunday. Your shame, ya'll, has just begun. Every Big 12 game involving A&M will, from here forward, resemble a weekly date with an ex-wife. Call A&M the (Home) Wrecking Crew.

The Big 12 just went from unstable to uncomfortable with the announcement that the SEC will stand pat. That beats the hell out of unraveling. Good for the Big 12 that it is threatening to stay together for a 15th consecutive month. The proud Aggies will just have to endure the taunts and cheap shots until the SEC changes its mind.

That could be soon, it just wasn't Sunday. Florida president Bernie Machen said that "future conditions" may make SEC expansion "advantageous". Well, of course. The SEC's decision to do nothing Sunday doesn't mean Texas A&M will never be in the nation's most powerful league, it just means a lot of people look a bit foolish right now.

Sources/ADs/administrators/message boarders/fans/Doug Gottlieb.

Note to Aggies everywhere: Before you borrow daddy's Caddy and rent a tux, make sure you have a prom date.

It always seemed strange that A&M was fast-tracking this thing. In the end, SEC presidents didn't want to be rushed. Why should they? With or without the Aggies, the SEC is still making $3 billion in a 20-year media rights deal finalized a couple of years ago.

The SEC is basically telling A&M: Get your house in order and then we'll talk. There is an A&M regents conference call on Monday. A Texas state representative wants to hear testimony to a Higher Education committee on Tuesday.

In the end, those SEC presidents couldn't find a 14th school to go along with A&M or didn't want to risk a legal challenge from the Big 12 (by potentially breaking up the league). Possibly both.

Our Brett McMurphy reported that SEC presidents have a "gentleman's agreement" not to expand within the league's footprint. That would eliminate Clemson and Florida State.

ESPN probably has a lot to do with it too. The key to the deal is how the Worldwide Leader can maximize A&M, Oklahoma and Texas with conference realignment looming. A&M must extricate itself from the Big 12 so it doesn't look like the SEC is interfering. OU must decide between the Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. Texas has to be in a place where its increasingly burdensome and controversial network is the most profitable.

Until then, spare us your crap on the finality of the subject. Everybody. This is the second shot heard 'round the world that didn't make it out of the cannon. How'd that Pac-16 thing work out?

What's the rush? There's plenty of time and cash for everyone. Texas A&M isn't going anywhere -- for now. It sure as hell didn't go to the SEC on Sunday.

Hope those Aggie yell leaders have ear plugs.


Since: Aug 14, 2011
Posted on: August 14, 2011 10:48 pm

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M

The following article from on August 14, 2011, by: Clay Travis explains quite a bit.  The direct link is   After you read it, you will see there is nothing to be embarassed by.  Quite the contrary, just waiting for the attorneys to finish their work.

OKTC has learned that one of the major points of discussion at today's SEC president's meeting was the potential contractual fallout of A&M's addition to the SEC. In particular the conflicting positions of ESPN in regards to its Big 12 television deal and its existing SEC television deal. That is, ESPN has conflicting good faith obligations to both conferences. Why are these obligations conflicting? Because OKTC has heard from multiple sources that the television deals between the Big 12 and ESPN is void as soon as the membership falls below ten.

So if Texas A&M bolts for the SEC then the Big 12's TV deal with ESPN doesn't exist anymore. (. But, and this a key distinction, Fox has no conflict here since it doesn't carry SEC games.)

Okay, wrap your minds around that. That's a major revelation and would explain why the Big 12 is working so hard to find a new member.

Now add this complexity that has the SEC worried -- the addition of A&M to the SEC would require ESPN to pay more money for television rights fees under the SEC's existing contract with ESPN. So what you've got is a situation where you could argue ESPN is inducing A&M to bolt the Big 12 in favor of the SEC. The big problem here? That's a major contractual conflict for ESPN, since part of the reason A&M would be leaving would be the inducement of more money from the SEC, money that would be coming from ESPN.

Yep, ESPN's television deals have so monopolized college athletics that its a major road bump in any conference realignment.

So the SEC is now worried that it could end up in a large lawsuit featuring the Big 12, the SEC, and ESPN over A&M's departure. (Keep in mind that Fox also has a major interest here. Will Fox continue its commitment to the Big 12 with only nine members? No idea. It was Fox and ESPN's stepping up to the plate with the same television payouts when Nebraska and Colorado left that kept the Big 12 -- now ten -- together.)

OKTC hasn't read the entirety of the Big 12's agreements with ESPN, but every contract has a boilerplate "good faith" provision that obligates a party to act in the best interests of its partners. Would it be in good faith for ESPN to be negotiating with the SEC about increased payouts to a current Big 12 member that would lead to an invalidation of the Big 12 contract when that member leaps? Of course not.

So ESPN is in an awful position, it may well have to pledge that its going to keep its payments to the Big 12 members the same regardless of membership numbers in order to avoid a breach of contract lawsuit for inducing a member to leave the conference and kill the Fox and ESPN deals.


How is all of this going to play out?

Let's review the SEC's official statement today which was just released minutes ago as I was writing about the ESPN contractual complication:

“The SEC Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment.  We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league. We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion.  No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”

This statement is a clear attempt by the SEC to avoid arguments that it induced A&M to leave. That is, legally the SEC needs A&M to leave the Big 12 before it can bring A&M into the conference. And in the meantime, ESPN needs to figure out a way to not violate its fiduciary duties to the Big 12 by inducing A&M to leave for the SEC. At the same time ESPN needs to formulate an idea of what the addition of a team to the SEC would do for future payouts under its existing contracts with the SEC.

Is your head spinning yet?

It's about to spin some more. Keep in mind that ESPN also instigated this whole mess with the Longhorn Network. Some at Texas A&M want to argue that ESPN's decision to start a network with Texas violated the fiduciary duty to the Big 12 members -- namely ending the Big 12's ability to form an existing network by contracting with Texas alone -- rendering the Big 12 contract with A&M breached. So A&M would have the right to do what it pleases under this interpretation of the deal. No lawsuit would be viable because there would be no contract to sue A&M under. Except, you guessed it, there are two network contracts, one with Fox and the other with ESPN. Fox has not undertaken any actions that would breach the existing contracts so it could still have a cause of action against A&M regardless.

As these legal issues work themselves out the SEC is doing its best to avoid being sued. Today's meeting was designed to discuss all the particulars of expansion without actually conveying an offer to A&M. Remember that . That's important because it eliminates many of the arguments against the SEC inducing A&M to leave.

So where are we headed now?

Texas A&M meets on Monday. Expect for A&M to give its president the authority to negotiate with other conferences at that meeting. Come Tuesday A&M is scheduled to appear before a committee in the Texas house. The SEC athletic directors meet in Orlando on Wednesday of this week. All of these meetings will go a long way towards helping to resolve the current legal complexities that are holding up this deal.

But ESPN still has to resolve its conflicts. So how does ESPN rectify what is a clear conflict of interest?

ESPN needs to notify the Big 12 of its intention to keep its payments to the conference the same regardless of membership numbers. ESPN may well need to provide this notice in writing to the Big 12. Then ESPN can negotiate with the SEC about what the addition of A&M might mean for the television rights fees owed to that conference. The SEC needs this information about increased rights fees before its presidents can vote on admitting anyone else.   

Then A&M can officially explore conference alternatives without ESPN having to worry about breaching its contractual obligations to the Big 12.   

Did I confuse you too much? I hope not. If I did, blame ESPN not me, it's the one with the incredi
bly complicated legal obligat
ions that are currently forestalling SEC expansion.

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: August 14, 2011 10:46 pm

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M


Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2011 10:44 pm

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M

I hope people aren't as blind as the CBS writers here and know about the conflict ESPN has in all this (who is doing the major reporting) and the fact that TAMU hasn't even met yet to confirm they are looking at another conference. The SEC is also having another meeting this week. It's a near done deal just as it was earlier today; it's just going to be a few more weeks. The SEC wants a #14 and they don't want to be involved in poaching; TAMU has to say they are leaving before they invite them.

Since: Aug 14, 2011
Posted on: August 14, 2011 10:38 pm

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M

The Big-12 is in big trouble. A & M will be gone shortly and the Big-12 will have to fold up it's doors. It cannot survive with just Texas and Oklahoma. They are decent schools but they cannot hold a conference together. Texas will be in big trouble if they try the independent route. They are not national enough to go that route. I can see Oklahoma eventually joining the SEC and Texas will probably have to go to the C-USA. They will probably dominate there if they can get their football program turned around. GO LONGHORNS !!

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: August 14, 2011 10:14 pm

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M

Well this was a little log in the middle of the road to the Super Conferences, once the log is removed the path will be traveled again. I was hoping that the S.E.C. would make a bold invite like the Pac. 10 did last year and invite TexAss and Oklahome to join the S.E.C. West and have Miami and Florida State join the S.E.C. East. The S.E.C. would be untouchable in just about every aspect of the game one could think of.someone will make the first move and the rest will follow suit. The Big 12 or the new junior 10, whatever you want to call it had better find some way to placate every remaining member, alas I don't think it will do any good. Fresno State and Boise State and Nevada Reno and all the other programs similar to these three, can only hope that somehow when all the dust settles, those teams will be included in a B.C.S. Conference.

Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: August 14, 2011 10:04 pm

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M

Forgot to add this:


Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: August 14, 2011 9:58 pm

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M

Note to the Aggies:  Watch out for officiating.  Especially the Burks crew that was so helpful.  They can't ref so they go all dirty cop and do what Beebe orders. 

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: August 14, 2011 9:54 pm

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M

"A&M is nothing but the ugly little sister boys placate to better their chances at her gorgeous older sibling, UT."

You must not have been at the A&M vs. UT game last season. 

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2011 9:53 pm


A terribly misleading title from an absolutely horrible writer.  I've read your drivel for months now on all sorts of issues, so this nonsensical article comes as absolutely no surprise to me.  Your headline implies that this will never happen, which couldn't be farther from the truth.  You even said so by stating that it could possibly be for only one more day that this deal is not done.  You either A) Don't have a clue what you are writing about, or B) Are writing these ridiculous diatribes for shock value, or C) You are just a complete moron.  Either one of these makes me feel sorry for you and your lack of journalistic accuracy. 

Since: Sep 5, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2011 9:50 pm

Embarrassment Sunday for Texas A&M

Poor Aggie....

Gee I wonder if Texas and OU decided to go to the SEC if the board at the SEC would have voted different?

Now that's some good bull! 

I understand aTm will now litigate planet Earth due to gravity takingaway their bonfire

I wonder what they do with the Jars these days? I'm guessing they chant SEC SEC SEC until they spontaneously combust. (no pun intended)

See you on Turkey Day on the LHN.  \m/   \m/

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or