There is little doubt that Texas A&M's administrative and athletic leaders believe that the university's future will be better served elsewhere. About two weeks ago, there was a chance the Aggies would leave the Big 12 for the SEC; however, SEC leaders opted to not expand. For now.
Since then, Texas A&M's leaders have left little doubt that they want to move the Aggies. In fact, just today, as ESPN reports, they told Big 12 officials that they continue to explore their options.
Texas A&M says if it chooses to withdraw from the Big 12, it will do so in accordance with Big 12 bylaws, and would be supportive of the Big 12's efforts to secure a new member in the conference.
"As I have indicated previously, we are working very deliberately to act in the best long-term interests of both Texas A&M and the state of Texas. This truly is a 100-year decision," Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin said in a release. "While we understand the desire of all parties to quickly reach a resolution, these are extremely complex issues that we are addressing methodically."Would the SEC's leadership accept Texas A&M so soon after rejecting the school? According to the New York Times, the answer appears to be "yes."
A high-ranking SEC official said he did not expect any movement on Texas A&M within the next week, because he said the university was busy working out the legal issues involved with leaving the Big 12.
“They have to unencumber themselves from the Big 12,” the official said.
There have been some recent voices opposing the move, including from Vanderbilt, but it does not appear that enough resistance has been built up to prevent it from happening.
“I think it’s a matter of timing and substance,” the SEC official said. “Who is it and when is it done? I don’t think the SEC has any strong opinion against expansion. Likewise, we’re not under any pressure to expand.”Perhaps the Big 12 leadership ought to give Texas A&M exactly what it wants -- a (Texas-sized boot) kick out the door. Instead of being held up by legal machinations, perhaps this ought to be settled in a Texas kind of way: "Y'all want out? Then, y'all are out."
Dare the Texas A&M administration to sue for breach of contract. Dare the athletic department to cry foul.
It seems to me that if Texas A&M doesn't want to be part of the Big 12 (which has only 10 schools, but let's not go there again), then give it a swift kick in the butt and send it on its way.