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SEC gives Texas A&M warm welcome

September 27, 2011

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— Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive welcomed Texas A&M as the 13th member of the league Monday and said he doesn’t expect to add another team before the Aggies begin play next season.

The SEC announced Sunday that Texas A&M would leave the Big 12 to join the conference next July and will compete in all sports for the 2012-13 academic year. The Aggies are the first newcomers since South Carolina and Arkansas joined the conference in 1992.

In an event complete with Texas A&M’s band, yell leaders, collie mascot Reveille and hundreds of fans, the Aggies ushered in a new era with a pep rally-type celebration of the move.

Slive and Florida President Bernie Machen, chairman of the SEC leaders took turns on a stage decorated with maroon and white balloons and adorned with A&M’s national championship trophies from various sports as well as an SEC logo that included the Aggies.

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin and Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne addressed the crowd and raved about their excitement in joining the SEC.

Slive said the SEC wasn’t looking to expand, but that A&M was too attractive of an option to ignore.

Slive acknowledged that scheduling a 13-team league will be difficult but said it wouldn’t expand just to make things easier.

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