Tag:R. Bowen Loftin
Posted on: March 6, 2012 1:38 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 2:09 pm

A&M president confirms series with Gamecocks

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The SEC still hasn't confirmed (or denied) South Carolina president Harris Pastides's claim that the league's athletic directors and presidents have signed off on a plan to maintain the league's annual cross-divisional rivalry games, or his assertion that his Gamecocks would be exchanging their yearly battle against Arkansas for one vs. league newcomers Texas A&M.

But even if the league won't confirm it, someone who would most certainly be in a position to know has: Aggie president R. Bowen Loftin. Loftin tweeted the following Monday afternoon:


Yes, that's the bow-tied president of a major research university of more than 50,000 students tweeting "#WHOOP" over a future football game. Clearly, the Aggies will be even more at home in the SEC than we've thought.

That aside, Loftin's confirmation should -- finally -- end any speculation or controversy over whether or not the SEC will keep the permanent cross-division games that have allowed series like Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee to continue since its 1992 divisional split. If the SEC is going to bother forcing the Gamecocks and Aggies -- two teams without any geographic rivalry or gridiron history -- to play each season, it's safe to assume that every SEC team is going to play someone in their opposite division, eliminating the possibility of a compromise that would see some teams (like the Tide and Vols) keep their cross-division rivalries while others did not.

This decision does mean that if the SEC remains wedded to an eight-game schedule, teams in opposite divisions who don't share a rivalry game (like say, Alabama and Florida, or Georgia and LSU ) will play each other just twice in a 12-year rotation. To judge by Pastides's and Loftin's comments, though, whether that will be often enough to keep all 14 schools (and the SEC's television partners) happy will be a bridge the conference will cross when it comes to it.


Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   
Posted on: November 30, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 1:02 pm

A&M associate AD calls school president a 'putz'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Texas A&M may still be trying to figure out what the future of Mike Sherman is at the school, odds are there may be some disagreements among members of the school's administration. After all, no matter where you work or what you do, you aren't going to agree with everybody you work with. You might even think your boss is an idiot, though you probably wouldn't say that to their face if you want to keep your job.

Well, we now know for sure that there's somebody in the Texas A&M administration who isn't exactly a big fan of school president R. Bowen Loftin. The school's athletics department chief financial officer and senior associate athletic director, Jeff Toole, recently went on a Texas A&M message board at TexAgs.com and called Loftin a "putz," though he did it under the anonymous username of UtayAg. 

Too bad his username wasn't as anonymous as he thought it was.
Jeff Toole, A&M athletics' chief financial officer and senior associate athletic director, admitted on Tuesday that he has disparaged A&M president R. Bowen Loftin on TexAgs — dubbing Loftin a “putz” and a “hopelessly underqualified puppet” — under the alias of UtayAg.

“I was posting what I thought was an anonymous opinion,” Toole said Tuesday.

Toole was ratted out on the website by a poster dubbed “iPanic” who searched UtayAg's posting history and found one from May 5, 2010, where UtayAg identifies himself as the Aggies' CFO for athletics.

“That slipped my mind,” Toole said Tuesday when asked why he thought he was posting anonymously when he already had identified himself under the handle.

Loftin is aware of the remarks according to his spokesman Jason Cook.

“President Loftin is aware of the posts and discussed the situation with athletic director Bill Byrne (Tuesday) afternoon," said Cook in an email to the San Antonio Express-News. "At this point, we are handling this situation as a personnel matter, and we will decline to comment further, in accordance with our standard practice.” 

Toole has apologized and admits that his job may be in jeopardy because of this, and I'm inclined to agree with him.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 12:04 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 12:05 pm

Mike Sherman should be nervous

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There have been a lot of head coaches fired since Saturday, as there are openings now across the country in just about every conference. There have also been a lot of questions about Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman's future at the school for most of the season, as the Aggies finished the year 6-6 suffering a number of collapses along the way. Still, to this point Sherman still has his job, though if he heard his boss talking on Wednesday, he can't be feeling very confident.

Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin talked to the Bryan-College Station Eagle and when asked about the future of the program and Mike Sherman, Loftin didn't exactly sound like he was committing to anything.

"I've been talking to [athletic director] Bill Byrne for the last couple weeks," Loftin said. "We're thinking hard about [the season and the future]."

Now while that comment doesn't sound totally damning given that Loftin speaks of a process that generally takes place at every school, compare it to what Loftin told the Austin American-Statesman last week before the loss against Texas.

"As far as I'm concerned, yes, [Sherman will return in 2012]" Loftin told the Statesman. "We don't want to make any hasty moves, and we look forward to him being our football coach in the future."

Quite a change in tone, no?

I've wondered about Sherman's status all season simply because the Aggies problems in 2011 seem to fall more on the coaching staff than the team itself. It's had injuries, yes, but at the same time the Aggies haven't done anything to correct the mistakes that have littered the team all season. Instead of making adjustments, it has felt like Texas A&M has just crossed its fingers and hoped it wouldn't happen again.

Combine that with the fact that the school is moving to the SEC next season, and it might want to go into a new conference with a fresh start rather than a coach who is on the hot seat.
Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 5:25 pm

Lone Star Showdown may survive, but when?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

After Texas A&M decided to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, it put the future of the Aggies annual showdown with Texas on Thanksgiving Day in jeopardy. For its part, Texas A&M has shown a willingness to continue the game, but Texas hasn't been nearly as willing. Well, that doesn't mean Texas A&M isn't going to stop trying.

Sure, the two schools have broken up, but that doesn't mean they can't get together for a cup of coffee, right? You know, just to talk.

According to a tweet from Kirk Bohls, Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin has authorized athletic director Bill Byrne to ask Texas out for that coffee date.

In another tweet Bohls shares that Loftin also said the game doesn't have to be on Thanksgiving if that doesn't work for Texas, and that A&M would be willing to play the game in September. "We're open to a date that meets all our needs," said Loftin.

Whether or not Texas will want to continue the tradition remains to be seen, but personally I know I'm hoping that the Longhorns agree to it. With so much history between the two schools, it'd be a shame to see their annual meeting come to an end, even if it's no longer a conference game.

UPDATE: According to Brent Zwerneman, Texas has already told Texas A&M they don't have room on the schedule until at least 2018
Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:02 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 12:03 pm

Texas A&M plans to expand Kyle Field

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Big changes are afoot in College Station at Texas A&M. Not only is the school getting prepared to move to the SEC next season, but it also has its own Gatorade now. That's what you make the move to the SEC for, Gatorade. Oh, and money too, definitely money.

Of course there's that old saying that if you want to make money, you have to spend money first, and it sounds like Texas A&M has found a way to spend some money. Thanks to a sudden surge of interest in the football program due to the announced move to the SEC, the school now has plans to expand Kyle Field.

"The plans that we had actually reduced Kyle Field's capacity, as we added more club seating and things along those lines," Miles Marks, the president of the 12th Man Foundation told the San Antonio Express-News. "But that doesn't work when you're already sold out — plus when you know you'll be having more (opposing) fans coming in. It made us rethink what we're going to do with Kyle Field.

"Everything has been pulled off the table. We were going to reduce its size — now we're going to grow it." 

What exactly that growth means, the school isn't sure yet. President R. Bowen Loftin said original plans were to begin the renovations at the end of the 2012 season, but now the school will likely put anything off until 2013. Marks says that while the plans aren't decided, "nothing is off the table" and some believe it's possible that the renovations will be so complete that the Aggies will need to spend a season playing in Houston's Reliant Stadium.

Which, were I a Texas A&M fan, I might have a problem with. Sure, the initial joy of moving to the SEC is substantial right now, but considering that Texas A&M is already going to be saying goodbye to a lot of its traditional rivalries in the Big 12, the thought of losing a season at Kyle Field to play in an NFL stadium would be a bit much.
Posted on: September 25, 2011 5:09 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2011 5:21 pm

It's official: Texas A&M to join SEC July 1, 2012

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The wait is over: Texas A&M is a member of the SEC.

The conference announced on its website Sunday afternoon that the Aggies will join as official members beginning July 1, 2012, and will compete in all sports for the 2012-2013 academic year.

"The Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family," Florida president Dr. Bernie Machen 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."

On behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans, I welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family," 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."

Aggie president R. Bowen Loftin repeated his oft-stated claim that the Aggies' bolt from the Big 12 to the SEC was a "100-year decision" the school "addressed carefully and methodically, and I believe the Southeastern Conference gives the Aggies the best situation of any conference in the country."

With the announcement, the SEC officially puts behind it the legal questions that had dogged A&M since it announced its plan to join the league and the possibility those questions would keep the school out of the league until the 2013 football season. The recent commitment of Oklahoma to keep the Big 12 together likely played a substantial role in Baylor withdrawing its legal objections.

The SEC is expected to play the 2012 season with 13 football teams. A schedule has yet to be announced--but the Aggies now know for certain they'll be one of the teams included.

Posted on: September 7, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 12:26 pm

Baylor stands between A&M and the SEC

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As we've told you about, the SEC voted to accept Texas A&M as the conference's thirteenth member on Tuesday night, but there still seems to be a roadblock or two in the Aggies way. The SEC originally received a notice from the Big 12 on September 2nd that said the SEC was free to accept Texas A&M as a member without fear of any legal repercussions from any other member of the Big 12. 

Something that no longer seems to be the case according to a release from the SEC on Wednesday which said that the conference has voted to accept Texas A&M, but won't officially bring the school into the fold until a certain member of the Big 12 agrees to accept the move.

"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," said Bernie Machen in the statement. "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. 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."

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin released a statement of his own saying pretty much the same thing on Wednesday morning.

“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.”

While neither the SEC or Texas A&M will name this one Big 12 member, it's generally been acknowledged that the school is Baylor. The same Baylor that launched a bit of a grassroots campaign to keep the Big 12 together on Tuesday.

Can Baylor keep Texas A&M from leaving the Big 12? Probably not, but it's hard to blame the school for trying seeing as how the school doesn't know what the future will hold should the Big 12 completely dissolve.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 5:11 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 5:39 pm

Report: SEC presidents on verge of inviting A&M

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If multiple reports are to be believed, Texas A&M could be less than 24 hours away from officially becoming the 13th member of the SEC.

Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com and Andy Staples of SI.com have both reported that the SEC's presidents will meet Tuesday to determine if the league will officially extend its expected invitation to A&M. "By Tuesday night, the SEC should know whether it has the required nine presidential votes," Staples writes.

Given the discussions between SEC commissioner Mike Slive and Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin earlier this year, it will be the biggest upset in sports this year if finding those nine votes is anything but a formality. According to CBSSports.com's Tony Barnhart (as well as multiple other sources), A&M could officially announce their new SEC membership as early as Wednesday morning.

If A&M does indeed leave for the SEC -- an event we previously placed odds against happening at 47 billion to one, and that might have been lowballing it -- all eyes will turn to Oklahoma, who could shatter the Big 12 for good by leaping to the Pac-12 with Oklahoma State in tow. (The San Jose Mercury-News's Jon Wilner reported Tuesday that the Pac-12 might take the Sooners and Cowboys even without a pledge from 16-team linchpin Texas.)

But none of the other dominoes can fall until A&M-to-the-SEC officially does. The good news for expansion-watchers: that domino appears to have already been tipped.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com