Texas A&M Plans to Leave Big 12 by July 2012
August 31st, 2011 by Jim Field
HOUSTON (AP) – Texas A&M has told the Big 12 Conference it plans to leave the league by July 2012 if it is accepted by another conference. The move, which had been expected, may set off another round of conference realignment in college sports. The Aggies have made it clear they want to join the 12-member Southeastern Conference.
University President R. Bowen Loftin notified the Big 12 in a letter and said it departing the Big 12 “is in the best interest of Texas A&M.” He said he hopes the move can be amicable and presumably hopes to negotiate a reasonable exit fee. Texas A&M had been in the Big 12 since its founding in 1996. Loftin says the school wants greater visibility nationwide as well as “the necessary and stable financial resources” need to support athletics.
ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard Statement on Texas A&M:
“It is unfortunate that Texas A&M is moving forward with plans to depart the Big 12. They have been highly competitive in the conference and represented our league well on the national stage. Although our preference is for them to stay in the Big 12, we wish them well in the future and respect their decision. The Commissioner, Presidents and Directors of Athletics are poised to move quickly and aggressively in studying alternatives for the conference.”