NEW Pete Thamel/NYT Article on Teleconference Call

  • I swear this guy just gets on the phone with the guy from Orangebloods to write his articles, but this one is pretty straight forward:

    Texas A&M Close to Leaving Big 12

    Texas A&M’s time as a member of the Big 12 is all but over. In a conference call Saturday that included the Big 12’s university presidents, R. Bowen Loftin, the president of Texas A&M, essentially said that the Aggies were leaving, and there was nothing the Big 12 could do to keep them, according to a person with first-hand knowledge of the call.

    Multiple presidents on the call used the words “amicable divorce” when discussing the Aggies departure. That would seem to suggest that there will not be any protracted legal wrangling. Paramount in the negotiations to free Texas A&M from the conference is the university’s buy out, which is estimated in $15 million range. While no specific timetable was discussed, the feeling on the call was that it the Aggies’ departure could happen as soon as the end of next week.

    The Big 12’s expansion committee has already spoken by telephone multiple times and has a wish list of Notre Dame, Arkansas and Brigham Young to replace Texas A&M as its 10th member. Notre Dame and Arkansas are considered long shots. Another name mentioned for the first time on the call was Pittsburgh, which is about 700 miles and 3 states removed from the nearest Big 12 school.

    Once Texas A&M negotiates its way out of the Big 12, it will have to apply to join the Southeastern Conference, its new destination. Once the SEC is satisfied that they are in no danger of being sued by the Big 12, Texas A&M is believed to have enough support from the SEC university presidents to enter the league. If things go smoothly, Texas A&M’s first season in the SEC could be 2012.

  • How does the B12-3 expect to get Arky, that seems like more than a reach there imo?

  • Jimmy Burch at the FWST...

    The Big 12 board of directors met Saturday via teleconference and made enough progress in regard to financial details related to Texas A&M’s potential departure that one league source indicated he “wouldn’t be surprised” to see A&M taking steps to join the Southeastern Conference later this week.

    Asked about that timetable, an A&M source said: “I’m not going to come out and say, ‘No, it couldn’t happen by the end of the week.’”

    But the A&M source cautioned there are “a lot of steps to go through” before the school could apply for SEC membership. First and foremost would be coming to terms with the Big 12 about how much money A&M will be asked to forfeit if it wants to compete in the SEC by the 2012 football season.

    Saturday’s prevailing sentiment, sources said, fell between $14 million and $20 million.

    Under league bylaws, a departure in such a short turnaround would require A&M to forfeit more than $28 million, based on projected revenues. But a source said league administrators appear willing to expedite the departure process and work out a settlement, likely reached by withholding most -- if not all -- of A&M’s projected $20 million in earnings from the 2011-12 school year.

    A&M president R. Bowen Loftin, who participated in Saturday’s conference call, announced Thursday that he has requested information about Big 12 withdrawal procedures, adding that a move to another league might be “in the best long-term interests” of the school and the state.

    After the teleconference, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe issued a statement saying league administrators “will continue to conduct meetings related to the situation with Texas A&M and conference membership. There will be public statements as appropriate and necessary if and when action is taken.”

    In a text message, A&M spokesman Jason Cook wrote that school officials are “waiting for the Big 12 to respond to our letter from Thursday” before the school can make its next move. That involves a final figure in regard to forfeited revenues, which is still being negotiated by lawyers.

    Big 12 administrators seem resigned to a future without A&M, a prospect Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance does not consider a threat to the league’s long-term stability.

    “I think the Big 12 is going to survive,” Hance said in a Saturday interview with Lubbock radio station KTTU-FM. “I hope the Aggies don’t leave. But if they do, it’s not the end of the world … They’ll be replaced by at least one, and maybe three excellent teams that will be a bigger story, if we get what we’re asking for, than the Aggies leaving.”

    Hance did not elaborate on potential expansion targets, although the league’s wish list is believed to be topped by Notre Dame, Arkansas and Brigham Young. Among that group, BYU -- an independent in football without no direct pipeline to a BCS bowl opportunity (which Notre Dame and Arkansas have) -- seems like the most available option.

    Multiple Big 12 administrators, including Tech president Guy Bailey and Texas men’s athletics director DeLoss Dodds, have expressed a desire for a 10-team league in the future. But the final configuration will be shaped, at least in part, by negotiations with TV networks. Other expansion targets could include Houston and Air Force.

    In the radio interview, Hance said he viewed A&M’s decision to cast its future with the SEC as “irreversible.”

    “It’s kind of like a divorce,” Hance said. “When somebody makes up their mind, there’s usually not much you can do about it.”

    Read more:

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  • Thanks sin miedo- good stuff

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    Email: AubreyBloom at gmail Follow On Twitter:

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  • No chance ND or Arkansas would move but Pittsburgh? That's surprising.

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  • Those sources are yanking those names out of their ass...They know they need a very SEXY name to bolster their image after what we are about to do...Thinking about it in a political metaphor, it is equitable of Obama having Hillary as a 2012 running mate and that won't happen either. I think they are going to need someone quick to save their media contracts and will settle for an ugly sister like Houston and spin it big and cougar high would be more than happy to be another tu toadie.

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  • Let's not think about it in political terms. Why? Because it's fucking nonsense.