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SEC says no action taken, league content with present alignment
2:50 p.m. Update:
Scratch that... ESPN's Joe Schad just Tweeted that Florida's Bernie Machen released a statement that said no action was taken on A&M and that the SEC was content with its present alignment.
Machen also said SEC leaders "discussed criteria and process associated with expansion."
Would've been foolish for them not to.
This is not good news for A&M, who could be left crawling back to the Big 12 after all this is done.
The good news there is, I think the Big 12 would welcome them back and still could look to expand to further strengthen the league.
Of course, there's still a long way to go and, as you probably know, things can change in an instant.
Here's the complete statement:
“The SEC Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment. We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league. We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion. No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”
— Statement from Dr. Bernie Machen, Chair, Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors:
2:47 p.m. Update:
Still no word from SEC country about what transpired at today's meeting... Reports are indicating that there was no vote, however, sources have said that most reports are merely guesses at this point in time.
The only news from Big 12 country is that Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt will address the media sometime after 3 p.m. Probably won't mean much to Kansas folks and will havee a lot to do with the ties between the Texas schools. But, expect Hocutt to say what we've heard everyone else saying regarding the Big 12: Nine members not named Texas A&M are committed to the conference and believe that the league will not only survive but could thrive.
Some reports out of Houston indicate that the Cougars would have the OK to play home football games at Reliant Stadium (home of NFL's Texans) and basketball games at Toyota Center (Houston Rockets' home) should they join the Big 12.
Again, any talk of teams joining the league or even talking about it are a lot premature right now. Of course, lists will be made and posturing will occur, but the Big 12 is focused much more on getting to the end of the tunnel first... They worry about who to add — if anybody — at a later time.
If it comes to that, the top choices remain BYU, Houston or Notre Dame.
12:55 p.m. Update:
It seemed pretty inevitable, after yesterday's wild and crazy action, that today would be a little more quiet regarding Texas A&M's desired move to the SEC.
Athletic directors, school presidents and chancellors and even a few coaches came out and said what they had to say on Saturday, some the day before that. So now we wait.
One piece that's worth following is today's meeting of SEC officials — scheduled for earlier this morning — in which the league was going to discuss whether it would, or should, officially invite A&M into the league. It takes a yea vote from nine of the conference's members to make that happen and sources have indicated that while that once seemed like an easy number to get it may not be any longer.
So we'll keep an eye on that and spend the rest of the day recharging our battery for what promises to be a wild Monday. A&M's board of regents is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Monday and, of course, with it no longer being a weekend, Texas lawmakers may have something to say throughout the day, as well.
For now, here's a recap of a couple of late-night moves that some of you may have missed.
The Big 12, via its web site, released an official statement on the matter. Below is that statement in its entirety:
The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors conducted a teleconference meeting today to discuss the future of the Conference given recent developments regarding Texas A&M University.
The Board strongly conveyed to Texas A&M its unanimous desire that it remain a Big 12 member, and acknowledged its value to the Conference. The Board noted that Texas A&M expressed concerns about institutional networks and that the athletics directors worked together and took actions, which the Board has approved, to adequately address those concerns.
The other nine members reaffirmed their long term, unconditional and unequivocal commitments made to each other and the Conference last summer. Although the Board hopes Texas A&M remains in the Conference, the Board is prepared to aggressively move forward to explore expansion opportunities. In doing so, the Board recognizes the strength of the Big 12 Conference national brand and the opportunity to capitalize on it.
A little while after that statement was released, KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little released one of her own regarding KU's position in all of this. That statement read:
“The University of Kansas is committed to the Big 12 Conference and its success. We fully support the efforts of the conference to remain strong and competitive, including the active pursuit of additional membership in the event of a departure."
“Sheahon Zenger and I have been in regular contact with conference board members, the commissioner and others to ensure KU’s interests are protected. We are going to do what is in the best interests of the university, our student-athletes and fans, and maintaining a vibrant Big 12 is in KU’s best interests.”
Nothing earth-shattering there, but good to hear nonetheless. For what it's worth, based on the information that I've been able to gather, I think this stance is right on the money. The Big 12 is the best place for Kansas and staying loyal and working to ensure the strength and stability of the conference is KU's best move.
Stay tuned for more... but bear with me if I head out to mow the lawn or grab a bite to eat.