SEC Unanimously Accepts Texas A&M, Baylor Threatens Legal Action

November 7, 2011 by CFP Staff, and

Dr. Bernie Machen, Chair, Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors has issued a statement on Texas A&M's acceptance as its 13th member, beginning with the 2012 academic year.

The statement reads, "After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC."

However, not all Big 12 members were onboard with the idea..

The statement continues, "We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action.  The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure."

The statement from Dr. Machen concludes, "The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011."

Baylor is reportedly the institution attempting to block Texas A&M's move.

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin responded to the developments in a statement released today, part of which addressed the threatened legal action. The statement read, "We are certainly pleased with the action taken last night by the presidents and chancellors of the Southeastern Conference to unanimously accept Texas A&M as the league's 13th member."

It continued, "However, this acceptance is conditional, and we are disappointed in the threats made by one of the Big 12 member institutions to coerce Texas A&M into staying in Big 12 Conference. These actions go against the commitment that was made by this university and the Big 12 on Sept. 2. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC."

The question also now becomes which domino will be the next to fall. It is obvious that the SEC won't stop at 13, and likely won't be satisfied with 14. Oklahoma, for one, has already made it clear that it is seeking alternatives to its conference affiliation.

Baylor is likely afraid of being left behind in the feeding frenzy that is bound to ensue as, most notably, the SEC, PAC-12 and BIG 10 look to increase their membership rosters.