The relationships between the current and former members of the Big 12 were allowed to slowly deteriorate over time - devolve - by those in a leadership position capable of preserving the respect and traditions between the institutons. To a degree we all - even as fans - are responsible. But the university leaders and the powerful alumni and Former Students could have been better stewards in my opinion. The level of hatred and disrespect that has occurred over the past 24 months is not a good legacy for any of our institutions. We are, after all, talking about sports and insitution pride, not quality of education or student success after graduation.
The hatred we have been spewing (myself included) will not affect the daily lives of 99% of future, current, or former students. Whether our sports teams win 100% or 0% in any given year, is not the issue - the quality of education obtained is the primary factor that should concern us. Yes - an image of success and power offered by sports achievement drives donations and institutional/personal pride, but we have allowed our priorities to get a bit out of balance over the past 3 decades in my opinion.
As a member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 1980, I remember the Southwest Conference and when Arkansas left for the SEC. The Southwest Conference became the Conference of the State of Texas. In a short time, this became unsustainable financially and ethically (recruiting irregularities jumped) so 4 members were "selected" to join the Big 8 to form the Big 12. 4 other fine insitutions were left behind as not worthy - There was very little angst as I recall - the selected schools were not told they were TRAITORS, WHINERS, GOLD DIGGERS, free to MOVE their campuses & CHANGE their names , or any other of the negative rhetoric that has been used in the past 12 months.
Friendly, even aggressive competition is healthy and fun, but the level of disrespect on all sides of this issue is appalling and something of which we should all be ashamed. I support the decision A&M made given the state of affairs and am very excited about being a part of the SEC - a superb cultural fit for my alma mater. But, it was a decision that would not have been necessary had we kept the competition on the field and away from the personal.