Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The SEC says yes to A&M (the drama-less one)

And it's official ... kind of:

The member presidents of the Southeastern Conference unanimously voted to accept Texas A&M Tuesday night as the league's 13th member, but the Aggies' official acceptance has been delayed by the potential threat of legal action.

The SEC's presidents and chancellors want assurances that no individual Big 12 school will sue for contractual interference over Texas A&M's departure before accepting the Aggies into the conference.

Baylor has not given that assurance to this point, according to sources.

"We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action," University of Florida president and SEC chairman Dr. Bernie Machen said in a statement released Wednesday. "The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. "

The SEC received written assurance from the Big 12 on Sept. 2 that it was free to accept Texas A&M as a member, Machen said.

Baylor is all, "LOL JK we hate u guyz now."

There's a Big 12 teleconference scheduled for this afternoon -- bet that'll be interesting. I'm skeptical that anybody actually wants to take this to court and turn it into a long, drawn-out, expensive sideshow, but when long-term financial viability is at stake, anything goes.

As for the SEC, the acceptance was unanimous but sounds like more of a "why not" than a "MUST HAVE MOAR TEXAS A&M":

"Texas A&M is a great school, but we don't' want to involve ourselves in any legal action over all of that," said David Williams, Vanderbilt's vice chancellor for university affairs and athletics.

He added that "all 12 schools are together on that statement."

So as long as the SEC doesn't have to put in any effort whatsoever, it's all good. The legal stuff is up to A&M.

The guess here is that all the Big 12 presidents back down from their big talk and start looking for a replacement ... as long as Oklahoma's still on board. If OU says "nuts to this" and starts making flirty eyes toward Larry Scott and a hypothetical Pac-16, the Big 12 will be gone and the SEC will be reenacting Sherman's March through the ACC to pick off whatever it can to keep up (realignment speculation FTW). But as long as Oklahoma and Texas are around, everybody else will have a home and Houston or SMU or BYU (or whoever, but definitely not Notre Dame) will end up being a not-exciting-but-acceptable replacement for A&M. The Big 12 can survive.

What say you, Prevail and Ride?



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