The tensions between Texas A&M and the Big 12 have become an undeniable barrier as the Aggies look for a possible new home in the SEC. But as with any conference shifting, that tension has reportedly branched out beyond College Station.
In a story originally about NCAA president Mark Emmert‘s attempts to unify conference commissioners over the “cannibalistic approach” to expansion, the New York Times‘ Pete Thamel writes that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe and SEC commissioner Mike Slive got into a heated phone conversation last week over the very topic, a high-ranking college official with “direct knowledge of the call” said.
Of course, Beebe has publicly denied that such a heated exchange ever existed.
“We have been very direct but have not had any conversations with MIke Slive I would describe as heated, ever,” Beebe stated via a tweet from Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News shortly after the Times’ article was published.
That denial, of course, was reported shortly after Carlton tweeted that a Big 12 source could confirm the heated phone call.
But whether or not there was a heated phone call, it’s reasonable to believe that Beebe would be upset over potentially losing a very, very valuable member of his conference — if he’s really serious about keeping A&M, that is. Such a loss could jump-start a domino effect of conference shifts that could evict Beebe from his current home.
That’s where Emmert is trying to step in and gather the commissioners around the proverbial campfire for a song or two — with the permission of the NCAA’s lawyers.
“I think people have asked him to make some phone calls,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. “He’s doing exactly what he should be doing.
“He’s in a position of influence. He’s doing what members are asking him to do,” Scott said.