Earlier this afternoon, the SEC announced it has decided to table the idea of bringing Texas A&M to the conference as a 13th member. The reasons appear to be numerous, but the overall theme is that the conference wants to take its time before potentially beginning the restructuring of the college football landscape as we know it.
That does not mean, however, that a move by A&M to the SEC is out of the question. We’ve stated before on this site that A&M needs to receive a formal invite from the SEC to make this thing happen; that’s only kinda-sorta correct.
It’s true that A&M wouldn’t blow off the Big 12 for the SEC if there wasn’t the utmost certainty by both sides that the deal would be “done”, but technically, a school needs to formally withdraw from their current conference before it can accept an invitation to another conference.
Just because the SEC didn’t say yes or no today doesn’t mean this isn’t going to happen. It also doesn’t mean it will. We have to keep all options open at this point.
The meetings by A&M’s Board of Regents and Texas’ House of Representative’s Higher Education Committee — scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of this week, respectively — will still happen, so it is entirely possible that A&M could still decide to leave the conference tomorrow.
But will they? The wildfire that has been the A&M-to-the-SEC rumors over the past few days appears to have been dampened, so you be the judge of that.
But in the event that A&M does decide to leave the Big 12, if and/or when that actually happens, the exit fees could be steep.
A Big 12 official told OrangeBlood‘s Chip Brown that A&M could pay upward of $30 million in exit fees if they decide to leave the Big 12. If you remember from an earlier post covering a possible time frame for a departure, A&M would have to pay 90 percent of its conference revenue if it joined the SEC in 2012.
In any case, it’s going to be an expensive move for A&M if they leave the Big 12. That’s likely something the SEC is considering as well.