The series of meetings that could very well determine Texas A&M’s future conference affiliation began today as the Big 12’s athletic directors and presidents met by teleconference to discuss the Aggies’ role in league.
We won’t know everything that was said, or if everyone was in attendance, but one of the main points that Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds made sure to point out afterward is that the nine other Big 12 members felt A&M was valuable to the overall strength of the conference.
“Everyone wants them [A&M] to stay” said Dodds, courtesy of tweet from Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman after the meeting. “We’ve been playing them for more than 100 years. Its’ hard. Is A&M leaving for sure? I don’t know that.”
And we may not even know Monday when A&M’s Board of Regents meet to discuss, among other things, “Authorization for the President to Take All Actions Relating to Texas A&M University’s Athletic Conference Alignment.” What seemed like a race by A&M to counter the Texas House of Representative’s Higher Education Committee’s Aug. 16th meeting to air out “matters pertaining to higher education, including collegiate athletics“, has now been downgraded from Threat Level: Midnight to, well, something less serious?
I don’t know; that was an “Office” reference.
Getting back to this issue at hand, it may be difficult for Big 12 representatives to convince A&M to stay at this point — provided the SEC even wants the Aggies. There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding a possible conference realignment apocalypse, but the one area of almost absolute clarity is that A&M does want to move on from the Big 12.
And that’s after the NCAA essentially sided with A&M over high school broadcasts on the Longhorn Network, which was really the supposed reason A&M was all bent out of shape in the first place. We’ve been told A&M officials and those from the SEC have been speaking occasionally since last June, so it’s entirely possible A&M’s disgruntlement over the high school broadcasts was merely a mask for a much deeper resentment.
If that’s the case, an assorted fruit basket from Big 12 officials with a personal apology note from commissioner Dan Beebe may not be enough to keep the Aggies from leaving.