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SEC: ‘No action taken’ on A&M, will stay at 12 schools for now

Blocked Shot

At least for now, it appears the heavily rumored move by Texas A&M to the SEC will not happen.  Again, at least for now.

Following a special meeting/teleconference of the conference’s chancellors and presidents — all but one of those officials took part in the meeting — called for Sunday to discussion the addition of A&M as the 13th member, the SEC has released a statement that, in essence, slams the brakes on the Aggies-to-the-SEC speculation that’s been rampant for the past five days.  In the statement from Florida’s Bernie Machen, Chair of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors, the conference indicated it will not add any school or schools as their 13th or 14th members.

The door was, though, left open for future expansion that would potentially include the school in College Station.

“The SEC Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment. We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league. We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion. No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”

So, where does this leave A&M?  For the here and now, it would appear the school will be forced to tuck tail and return to the Big 12 for the foreseeable future.

It’s unclear if a Board of Regents meeting, with one agenda item being “Authorization for the President to Take All Actions Relating to Texas A&M University’s Athletic Conference Alignment”, scheduled for Monday will go forward as planned.  Additionally, the Higher Education Committee of the Texas House of Representatives has a hearing scheduled  for Tuesday to discuss A&M’s future conference affiliation.  As is the case with the Monday meeting, it’s unclear if this one will go off as scheduled as well.

Our semi-educated guess as to this somewhat surprising development is that the SEC is waiting to pull the trigger on adding A&M until they have a 14th school locked down.  Additionally, there could be some legal issues with A&M breaking away from the Big 12 that has caused the SEC to pull back the reins on any move to expand.

A&M is expected to release a statement at some point Sunday addressing the news coming out of the SEC.

UPDATED 5:31 p.m. ET: Here’s a mini-update from Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News, with word that the Board of Regents meeting scheduled for Monday is still expected to take place.

My understanding is this is simply part of the (convoluted) legal process of A&M bolting the Big 12 for the SEC – that it must be documented that A&M courted the SEC, not vice versa, to avoid potential lawsuits. The A&M regents are still expected to hold a teleconference on Monday to discuss “conference alignment.”

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33 Responses to “SEC: ‘No action taken’ on A&M, will stay at 12 schools for now”
  1. spartytime says: Aug 14, 2011 4:14 PM

    maybe T A&m wasnt dumb enough to get into SEC.hahahaha

  2. southernpatriots says: Aug 14, 2011 4:21 PM

    This moment was a little too soon but the pressures remain and are building for an expansion of the SEC to 16, as other conferences are expanding or trying to expand.

    Just a little too soon. Next spring SEC meetings and following there should be news on this as well as other universities that will be putting out feelers to see if there would be acceptance to them joining.

    spartytime: Can you read or are you just a fool? A & M still wants to join the SEC but the SEC member university presidents do not want to expand the SEC at this time. Please read the article before commenting next time.

  3. burntorangehorn says: Aug 14, 2011 4:23 PM

    SEC: No thanks. We’ve already got a 12th man.

    Is that egg I see on the faces of the aggie insiders who have insisted for over a year now that there has been an SEC invitation in the school’s hand?

  4. tmb333 says: Aug 14, 2011 4:36 PM

    How could they take action when no one has applied for membership?

    This is purely a legal move to avoid the tampering lawsuit that UT threatened.

    A&M will vote tomorrow on moving to the SEC. When they vote to do it, the SEC will take action and accept A&M’s petition.

  5. dg0122 says: Aug 14, 2011 4:38 PM

    BAAA means no, aggy!

    POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRR
    AAAAAGGGGGGYYYYYY

  6. gorilladunk says: Aug 14, 2011 4:40 PM

    Looks like it’s gonna be a LONNNNGGG year for the Ags. Those road games are gonna be brutal.

  7. dg0122 says: Aug 14, 2011 4:40 PM

    um, yeah, sure tmb333…I’m sure thats exactly what will happen

  8. blitz4848 says: Aug 14, 2011 4:40 PM

    Make no mistake–A&M is a good fit as the SEC wants a footprint in Texas. Texas is the 2nd most fertile recruiting area next to Florida and having the SEC network on in Texas every week is a win win situation for the SEC.

    The sticking point is and will be that the next expansion will be from 12 to 16 and the groundwork for that is still in the works.

    Ideally the SEC would like the 4 to be Oklahoma, A&M, FSU & VaTech. Both Clemson and GaTech are right behind FSU & VaTech. On the West side Missouri is in 3rd place as the StLouis market would benefit the SEC nicely also.

  9. burntorangehorn says: Aug 14, 2011 4:52 PM

    tmb333 says:
    Aug 14, 2011 4:36 PM
    How could they take action when no one has applied for membership?

    This is purely a legal move to avoid the tampering lawsuit that UT threatened.

    A&M will vote tomorrow on moving to the SEC. When they vote to do it, the SEC will take action and accept A&M’s petition.
    ==============================
    What lawsuit is that? Someone’s been reading the rumormongers a bit.

    blitz–Florida is the second-most-fertile recruiting area, next to Texas.

  10. tmb333 says: Aug 14, 2011 4:55 PM

    @dgo122 – How could they take action when there was no action to take? They can’t vote on adding someone that hasn’t requested to join the conference.

    The SEC is protecting their interest and avoiding tampering charges.

  11. John Taylor says: Aug 14, 2011 5:06 PM

    @burnt: I wouldn’t be doing a happy dance around the Aggies’ SEC corpse just yet. This thing is far, far from over.

  12. overratedgators says: Aug 14, 2011 5:25 PM

    Wow. I’m really surprised. I was in the “done deal” camp on this one.

    Bet things are going to be awkward for the A&M athletic staff at the next conference meeting:

    “Boy, are we glad that whole SEC invite thing didn’t happen! We just didn’t know how to gently let them down! I mean, we’d MUCH RATHER be here with you guys than them!

    So, umm …. we’re still cool … right, guys?”

  13. WingT says: Aug 14, 2011 5:34 PM

    Lets all just “hold our horses”, so to speak, and see where this is after all the dust has settled.

    I am betting that A&M will make like horse fecal matter and hit the trail. Which trail? Any trail heading out of the Big 12 and away from the longhorns.

  14. WingT says: Aug 14, 2011 5:55 PM

    @Blitz
    I agree with you. The SEC would love to have A&M for recruiting and TV market reasons. While Texas was the number 1 state for recruiting last year ( according to BleacherReports), Florida was a #2 ( see what I did there, lol), then Georgia followed by Louisana. Surprisingly California was listed 5th.

    I believe that the Aggies would benefit in the recruitment of their own state by leaving the Big12 and going to a stronger conference. They might even out-recruit the longhornies.

  15. burntorangehorn says: Aug 14, 2011 6:01 PM

    @JT

    Yeah, it’s definitely not over, and I actually do think the odds are better than not that the agricult ends up in the SEC. That said, it’s just hilarious that agribloggers and supposed insiders (even ones from the school’s Rivals affiliate, IIRC) were claiming that an offer was already on the table, and always has been.

    You know, I’d actually rather that they were gone already. I know a lot of deluded people think this is a great move for the aggies, and in the short term (under 3-4yrs.), they might be right. But being a perennial third- or fourth-place-in-the-division team in the SEC West instead of the Big 12isn’t going to help them win recruiting battles against Texas and Oklahoma like they’ve been claiming.

    No, what actually bothered me about this is the deluded people who had claimed that the aggies were a done deal, an offer was on the table, and the grass was greener. Oh, and also annoying were the ones who claimed Texas had been mistreating its little sibling, when in fact the agricult was part and parcel to numerous inequal divisions of wealth in the Big 12, including just a year ago with CU and NU’s exit fees.

  16. dg0122 says: Aug 14, 2011 6:11 PM

    Oklahoma and Ok St would be a package deal. Dont know about that happening

  17. tgaustin says: Aug 14, 2011 6:19 PM

    Look, it’s simple…ESPN chose Texas and not Texas A&M for a reason…it’s freaking Texas A&M!!! Lets not forget that the A&M Athletic department reported about a year ago that they were around $12 million in debt!! If they leave the Big 12, it’s going to cost them $30 million(roughly). Aggie nation cried when Texas built their scoreboard because theirs wasn’t the biggest anymore. There is no doubt that they will be in the SEC…just quit acting like a freaking bunch of babies!!!! Whether they leave or not, they will always have “Milkmen” for Cheerleaders!!!!!

  18. bassmaster357 says: Aug 14, 2011 7:47 PM

    A&M will join the SEC as soon as the SEC finds an eastern school like FSU,CLEMSON OR VT. You have to even out the numbers, one on west and one on east divisions.

  19. granadafan says: Aug 14, 2011 8:43 PM

    Aggies coaches at the next all conference meeting: Awwwwwkward…..

  20. mrcowpatty says: Aug 14, 2011 10:21 PM

    Once Texas A&M refines its redneckness they’ll be shoe in.

  21. southernpatriots says: Aug 15, 2011 7:11 AM

    Ben posted some of the legalities which limit the SEC unless they wish to be held in “TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE” and be liable to the Big 12 for huge damages. The SEC must act as they acted for now. Now the ball is in A & Ms court, or FL State, or Georgia Tech, to settle any breach of contracts they are currently in with their respective conferences and only then can the SEC provide an invitation and all related things to the school.

    We can just relax and allow the process to take place and speculate on who the matching bookend for the East SEC will be.

  22. florida727 says: Aug 15, 2011 8:49 AM

    This is nothing more than “posturing” by the SEC. They know that if they extend an offer to join without first being approached formally by A&M seeking to join, they’re staring straight into the face of tampering charges. Why bother? All they have to do is wait. Let A&M drop their skirt first. Then the legal and financial burden becomes theirs, not the SEC’s. Slive is handling this exactly as he should. He’s protecting the SEC, while still indicating their interest in A&M. Nothing wrong with that.

  23. southernpatriots says: Aug 15, 2011 9:48 AM

    florida727: Our contacts in Birmingham said similarly. Well and accurately stated!

    A & M must formerly withdraw from the Big 12 before any other step can be done. If the SEC acts in any assertive way, as Ben said, it can be held guilty of “interference” and be liable for almost unlimited damages by the Big 12.

    Now we just wait on A & M and hope during this time that an East school (FSU, GA Tech, etc.) will come forward.

  24. fltacks says: Aug 15, 2011 10:51 AM

    Just imagine – FSU champions of the SEC in football!!

    I can’t either….

  25. southernpatriots says: Aug 15, 2011 11:01 AM

    Just imagine –two decades ago….LSU champions of the SEC in football!! It did not seem a possibility, even to us long time fans and alums.

    The N

  26. southernpatriots says: Aug 15, 2011 11:06 AM

    computer is trying our patience…

    The New SEC could have Texas A & M, or Georgia Tech, or Florida State….or South Carolina, or other resurgent teams in the present SEC to the the champion and that would surprise or not sound well to the hearing of old time fans.

    We have been fans and have traveled to most SEC venues in the past over 40 years and we welcome new schools, new excitement, and new life in the SEC!

  27. tide4life says: Aug 15, 2011 11:52 AM

    After their tapdancing with their own rules last season, why does anyone think we can believe ANYTHING the SEC says? Mike Slime and his posse have proven themselves to be liars and crooks. A&M could be in the SEC before sunset today.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  28. florida727 says: Aug 15, 2011 12:19 PM

    “southernpats”, clarify if you happen to know: is it considered “tampering” if A&M formally expresses an interest in joining the SEC (or submits a ‘request’) but does NOT formally “withdraw” from the Big 12?

    I don’t think I’m just playing semantics here. A formal withdrawal sounds like A&M would have to definitively decide “hey, we’re out of here, see you later”, as opposed to simply exploring their possibilities, be it SEC or otherwise. In other words, they’d put themselves at the mercy of, in this case, the SEC. If the SEC at the last minute for whatever reason pulls the proverbial plug on the deal, A&M gets screwed. That wouldn’t be right either.

    Your thoughts?

  29. southernpatriots says: Aug 15, 2011 1:31 PM

    florida727: You bring up some germaine issues.

    From our contacts at the SEC in Birmingham and one lawyer so far (we are trying for two more but they are in court today), a university which is under contract to a conference must withdraw from that conference before any other conference can “officially” communicate with them, and especially offer this university an affiliation membership in the new conference.

    If the new conference officially communicates with the said university (and even unofficially communicates in a blatant manner), the old conference has a great case to bring to court on grounds of “interference” with the existing contract. The said university can send a dispatch to the original conference at 9 am detailing they want out of the conference and incumbent obligations (contracts) and the same university can at 10 am communicate with the new conference providing documentation that they have previously (at 9 am) withdrew officially from the previous conference and contract.

    Several issues are involved here, but mainly contract law. There are contractual penalties which the university must pay or repay which can be anywhere from several million to tens of millions.

    There are ways around the blatant violation of contract and related laws. The said university may have someone “off the record” bring up a “hypothetical” and communicate without actual names and issues to see if there is interest of the new conference in their membership. In this case, A & M knows there is great interest in the SEC, but they must cross the state legislative hurdle, then the withdrawal from the Big 12, etc.

    In this case, A & M does put themselves at the mercy of the SEC who can(NOT SAYING THEY WILL AND DON’T BELIEVE FOR A MOMENT THEY WILL) act fickle and not go through with what they unofficially indicated they would. One, you have to believe the SEC sees the advantage of an A & M to be part of the academic and athletic community of the SEC. It is in the self-interest of the SEC to have a presence in Texas.

    The interest is no sense of the word, one-sided. Both A & M and the SEC need this (hopefully) and the meddling state legislature will not mess the process up. Gov. Rick Perry is a graduate of A & M and he has already said, he wants the best for A & M. The best is probably going to the SEC while maintaining the rivalries with Texas and Oklahoma (some here are watching the A & M process so they may follow it if it is successful).

    Hope this helped all understand a process which is not fast but general very s….l…..o…..w, but can in turn change overnight.

  30. edpeters101 says: Aug 15, 2011 1:53 PM

    It’s not the Big XII, it’s the Univ. of Texas and 9 other schools…

  31. southernpatriots says: Aug 15, 2011 2:03 PM

    edpeters101: Sad, but so true. That is a major reason A & M will bolt.

  32. southernpatriots says: Aug 15, 2011 3:33 PM

    florida727 and all: Slive is an attorney along with his SEC position. Last year he spoke personally to Texas A & M and Oklahoma and introduced the possibility of them joining the SEC. (We are sure he was very careful how he approached the subject but he did).

    To Slive’s disappointment the talks with Oklahoma did not go far. The talks with A & M did but they chose NOT to join last year due to their hopes that what they were told about the new tv contract with Texas was NOT true. However, now they want to hurry into the SEC but there are procedures which must be followed to protect the SEC and A & M.

    Fearmongers throughout Texas are shouting that the 100 year rivalry between A & M and Texas will be no more…that’s a lie. The rivalry will continue.

  33. southernpatriots says: Aug 16, 2011 7:27 AM

    On amendation to the posting above….The 100 year old rivalry between Texas and Texas A & M has so far been injured by Texas. If it does not continue it would be Texas’ choice of not wanting to face an out of conference opponent who may beat them.

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