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Texas A&M Leaving Big 12 For SEC But Legal Action Threatened

Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

The college athletic landscape could look drastically different in the next few years.

This morning, the Southeastern Conference presidents voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M as the league’s 13th member.  However, the Aggies aren’t quite a member of the SEC just yet.

The Aggies’ invitation is contingent on each Big 12 school waiving its right to litigation. But legal action could be taken.

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said that no legal action against the SEC relating to Texas A&M’s departure would be taken as long as the SEC officially announced the Aggies’ admission by September 8th.

Dr. Bernie Machen, the University of Florida president who is chairman of the SEC presidents and chancellors, said that one of the Big 12 schools had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action.

According to the Associated Press, that school is Baylor. The president of Baylor is Ken Starr, former independent counsel whose inquiry led to impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton.

A statement on the Baylor website encouraged Texans to “stand up and call the leadership of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech to clear-headed thinking about the state’s future.”

It continued, “Ask these leaders to take a stand for Texas and to stop this madness that will lead to the dissolution of the Big 12 and the end of an era for Texas.”

Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

According to, SEC presidents had given commissioner Mike Slive permission to negotiate with Missouri and West Virginia as a possible 14th member school.

Last week, Texas A&M said it planned to leave the Big 12 by July of 2012 if they were invited to join another league. The Aggies didn’t like the fact that arch-rival Texas created the Longhorn Network – a television network which will generate additional revenue for Texas.

If Texas A&M’s move is approved, it would be the 3rd Big 12 team to leave in the past year.  Nebraska left for the Big 10 while Colorado departed for the Pac 12.

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