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SEC Nixes A&M… For Now

And still there are 12.

The SEC’s presidents have elected today not to extend an invitation to Texas A&M at this time, forcing the Aggies to return to the Big 12.

To those who have insisted that we were wrong to suggest that:

A) A&M had put itself into a corner just as Missouri did last year

B) A&M had forced Mike Slive and the SEC into acting more quickly than they wanted to

and C) That the SEC might turn down A&M now and wait instead for a later date when they can take their own sweet time in finding a 14th member…

We say, maybe you shouldn’t have been so ugly with your comments and emails.  Then again, I’m sure those who called us “idiots” will return to apologize.  (Holding breath… now.)

At any rate, Florida president Bernie Machen said today that the league’s presidents and chancellors “reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institution alignment.”

He went on to say: “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.”

In other words, the SEC would still like A&M someday, but it does not want to bring down other conferences (and possibly open itself up to lawsuits) and it also does not want to move forward with 13 schools for the time being.

So let’s recap:

1.  Initial reports suggested there would be a meeting of presidents and chancellors on Saturday, but we were the first to report that the meeting would actually be held today.  Despite later reports from other sites saying that there would be no meeting at all, indeed there was… and t was today.

2.  As we reported first, today’s meeting indeed dealt with whether or not the SEC would even extend A&M a bid.  And as we suggested last night, the timeline made it difficult for the SEC to extend such an invite.

3.  As we noted on Friday, we never thought there was any chance of the SEC taking on a 13th school without first identifying and having a handshake agreement in place with a 14th school as well.  Clearly that was the case.

4.  And despite rumors of done deals and A&M acting with some sort of “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” assurances from the SEC, it turns out that the school’s brass had no such go ahead.  Also as we had written.

Now the waiting game begins to see how Texas A&M officials respond.  Remember that their board of regents is meeting this week and that the Texas legislature has summoned A&M reps to the state capitol as well.

If A&M jumps from the Big 12, then the clock can restart on a partnership… giving the SEC more time to find a 14th member. 

Bottom line: Texas A&M got ahead of itself and lawsuits are now being discussed — if A&M lands in the SEC.  The SEC wants no part of lawsuits, so the ball is back in A&M’s court.  Expect SEC representatives to start quietly reaching out to other schools this week just in case A&M goes ahead and leaps from the Big 12.

But with the Big 12 offering up a “please stay” message this weekend, it’s possible the Aggies crawl back home and simply bide their time for a later date.

We’ll have more coverage tomorrow.  And we’ll try to be just as accurate in the days ahead as we have been this past week.  (No promises… we’re human.)

Thanks for reading the site… and enjoy the rest of your weekend!


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