In a move that the Aggie Websider has been reporting for over a month, Texas A&M University officially announced its intention to leave the Bog 12 and apply for inclusion in another conference. That conference will be the SEC. This is the culmination of 15 months of analysis and evaluation on the part of the Texas A&M administration which was energized in recent months due to the instability of the Big 12 Conference.
After eventual renegotiation of the SEC TV contract, internal sources have put the projected future TV revenues in the SEC at approximately $34 million. Add in the river of new donations and ticket sales since the rumors of a move to the SEC hit the public, and the university sees this as a successful financial move as well as an opportunity to create a national brand for the university and its athletic department.
Below is the press release from Texas A&M:
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M University today officially notified the Big 12 Conference that the institution will submit an application to join another athletic conference. Should this application be accepted, Texas A&M will end its membership in the Big 12 Conference effective June 30, 2012.
"After much thought and consideration, and pursuant to the action of the (Texas A&M University System) Board of Regents authorizing me to take action related to Texas A&M University's athletic conference alignment, I have determined it is in the best interest of Texas A&M to make application to join another athletic conference," President R. Bowen Loftin wrote to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe in the letter dated August 31, 2011.
"We appreciate the Big 12's willingness to engage in a dialogue to end our relationship through a mutually agreeable settlement," Loftin added. "We, too, desire that this process be as amicable and prompt as possible and result in a resolution of all outstanding issues, including mutual waivers by Texas A&M and the conference on behalf of all the remaining members."
Texas A&M has participated in intercollegiate athletics as a member of the Big 12 since the conference's founding 16 years ago. Last season, the Aggies claimed nine Big 12 championships and four national team titles, both of which were school-bests. Since joining the Big 12 prior to the 1996-97 athletic season, Texas A&M has won 55 conference championships, including 32 in the last five years.
Texas A&M finished eighth in the prestigious Learfield Sports Director's Cup all-sport rankings a year ago, tallying its most points ever and leading all Big 12 schools. In the inaugural Capital One Cup, which rates teams' final rankings, the Aggies were the top-ranking university from the Big 12. The Aggie women finished second with five top-10 finishes, while the Aggie men finished tied for third with five top-10 finishes.
"As I have indicated throughout this process, 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 said. "This is a 100-year decision that we have addressed carefully and methodically. Texas A&M is an extraordinary institution, and we look forward to what the future may hold for Aggies worldwide."
While Loftin did not specify an application timeline in his letter to the Big 12, he previously indicated that he does not intend to prolong the application process for an extended period of time.
A&M Intends to Leave Big 12
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