Texas A&M sets up move from Big 12

Texas A&M declares intent to explore its "options related to the institution's athletic conference affiliation;" keeping the possibility of a marriage with the SEC alive.

Yesterday Texas A&M sent out a media release that could have a tremendous impact on the future of the Southeastern Conference, the BCS conferences and even on the NCAA.

The release states:
Texas A&M University today officially notified the Big 12 Conference that it is exploring options related to the institution's athletic conference affiliation. Texas A&M also requested that the Big 12 outline the process to be followed should the university elect to withdraw from the conference.

In the letter to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe, Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin indicated that if the university withdraws from the conference, Texas A&M would do so in a way that complies with the Big 12's bylaws. Additionally, Texas A&M would be supportive of the Big 12's efforts to seek a new member of the conference.

"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," said Loftin. "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," Loftin added. "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."

With Texas A&M formally issuing its intent to end its alliance with the Big 12 it frees up the school to more formally seek to join the SEC. Media sources had previously reported that Texas A&M had decided to seek entry into the SEC, the nations preeminent football conference.

An alliance between Texas A&M and the SEC is an apparent win-win for both entities. The SEC gains a sizable region to add to its TV media footprint, and A&M becomes a member of a conference that annually returns more money to its members than other conferences.

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