Now, 6 Big 12 schools may sue if Texas A&M leaves for SEC (UPDATED)

Mike Slive: "First we'll take Texas A&M, then Oklahoma, then Clemson, then Germany ..." Kidding. Sort of.

Mike Slive: "First we'll take Texas A&M, then Oklahoma, then Clemson, then Germany ..." Kidding. Sort of.

(Last update: 6:30 p.m.)

Turns out, Baylor may not be alone in stepping on Texas A&M’s — and the SEC’s — dreams.

The Waco Tribune is reporting that six Big 12 teams, all of whom originally OK’d Texas A&M leaving the conference, are now refusing to sign the waiver.

Sorry. I personally find this hysterical.

The lynchpin here is Oklahoma. Reportedly, all of the schools will allow A&M to leave if Oklahoma agrees to stay in the Big 12 and not bolt for the Pacific “12.” The schools that won’t sign the waiver are Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Missouri.

And the saga continues . . .

Earlier blog:

At least one school apparently isn’t playing nice in the SEC’s attempt to conquer the world — one major college football program at a time. Aw, shucks. (Sarcasm.)

SEC member presidents voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept Texas A&M, as had been expected for weeks. But Florida president Bernie Machen released a statement this morning that one Big 12 member school apparently is now threatening litigation should the deal go thr0ugh.

So the SEC is giving only conditional approval. In short, they don’t want to get sued.

Also, they don’t want to look bad, but it’s too late for that.

SI.com is reporting that Baylor is the Big 12 school threatening litigation. If that’s true,  Baylor has become one of my favorites academic institutions in the country. The cannibalism going on in college athletics is pathetic.

Here’s the statement from Machen, who chairs the SEC’s presidents and chancellors:

After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC.  We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action.  The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure.  The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011.

Here’s a copy of the Big 12’s original letter to the SEC:

CONFIDENTIAL
September 2, 2011
Mike Slive
Commissioner
Southeastern Conference
2201 Richard Arrington Boulevard North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Dear Mike:
This is to confirm our discussion yesterday during which I informed you that the Big 12
Conference Board of Directors unanimously authorized me to convey to you and their colleagues in the Southeastern Conference that the Big 12 and its members will not take any legal action for any possible claims against the SEC or its members relating to the departure of Texas A&M University from the Big 12 and the admission of Texas A&M into the SEC; provided, however, that such act by the SEC to admit Texas A&M is publicly confirmed by 5:00 p.m. (CDT) on September 8, 2011.

Such admission of Texas A&M will result in the withdrawal of Texas A&M from the Big 12 Conference effective June 30, 2012. We both agreed it is in the best interests of each of our conferences and our member institutions of higher education to waive any and all legal actions by either conference and its members resulting from admission of Texas A&M into the SEC, as long as such admission is confirmed publicly by September 8, 2011.

If any of your presidents and chancellors have concerns about this commitment of the Big 12 Conference, they may contact me or Brady Deaton, Big 12 Board of Director chairman and chancellor of the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Sincerely,
Dan Beebe
Commissioner

Most of you know how I feel about this conference raiding. It contradicts the NCAA’s stated mission of college athletics, particularly at a time when school presidents claim they’re focused on academics and cleaning up college sports. In fact, it has been about money for a long time. Sadly that’s probably not going to change.

If you missed the column I wrote on this subject a couple of weeks ago, here’s the link.

We’ll provide more updates the next time Godzilla makes a move.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

265 comments Add your comment

Coach Cool

September 7th, 2011
10:23 am

So long college sports. Nice knowing ya.

Innocent Bystander

September 7th, 2011
10:24 am

It’s been widely speculated that Baylor is the team.

They’re free to do as they wish, but when (inevitably) the Big 12 dissolves and nobody comes calling for Baylor to join their league, they’ll know why. Welcome to Conference USA (or WAC or MAC), Baylor Bears.

dodomustgogo

September 7th, 2011
10:24 am

GO DAWGS

September 7th, 2011
10:25 am

The school that is having a problem is BAYLOR.

dodomustgogo

September 7th, 2011
10:25 am

Dangit Man! I’m slower than Bobo on a halftime adjustment…or any adjustment for that matter!

Big Enos Burdette

September 7th, 2011
10:27 am

Word is that Georgia is looking to join the Big 12

FLdawg

September 7th, 2011
10:27 am

NoNoNo
DO NOT water down the greatest conference in America with another OleMiss.
TAM is a lower tier big12 team. Dont let TAM current ranking fool you, you fools. TAM is a joke. Why would we want another weak team?
The SEC must only accept OK, or TX, or VT or another football power to UPGRADE the conference, not lower our talent pool.
And forget Clemson. Clemson is weak. “Clemson is just Auburn with a lake.”
Weakness = Chaos = Weakness.

5150 UOAD

September 7th, 2011
10:33 am

A DAWG saying Texas A&M will water down the league? HAHA UGA why don’t you go the big East where you might be Top Tier. Ole Miss & UGA are the ONLY SEC teams that lost this past weekend. I guess UGA is more in Ole Miss’ class that Texas A&M is.

david

September 7th, 2011
10:34 am

The 4, 16 team super conferences are coming, the NCAA is going get run over by the train and kill them once and for all.

dawg day afternoon

September 7th, 2011
10:35 am

Welcome, TAMU. Next, we need to grab North Carolina State and call it a day.

Jeff Schultz

September 7th, 2011
10:36 am

I love Baylor!

MagnaCarterGT

September 7th, 2011
10:37 am

It’s Baylor. Let’s not kid ourselves, they’re the one promising litigation. They’re desperately trying to keep the Big 12 together because they’re the Texas school that stands to lose the most should it cease to exist. All the other schools in the former Big 12 South will find nice new homes in posh conferences somewhere else. Baylor will not. And that’s why they’re on this (idiotic) crusade about not messing with Texas football.

Dave

September 7th, 2011
10:37 am

FLdawg- you’re correct in respect to football, but ranking systems (like the Director’s Cup) that include all sports put TA&M at the top of the Big 12 and in the top 10 nationally. SEC would lose a bit in football, but gain in just about every other sport. Depends on priorities, I guess.

Not Disappointed!

September 7th, 2011
10:38 am

Why do you love Baylor Jeff? No brisket for you! :(

SOGADOG

September 7th, 2011
10:38 am

Texas AM is justified in making this move given the fact U. of Texas struck its own TV deal with ESPN. The whole point of a conference is to share the wealth generated by each school’s athletic programs and thus create parity in terms of facilities and competition on the field. This model works well for the SEC which is why Texas AM is seeking admission. The model was broken by Texas when it signed its own TV deal thus cutting its fellow conference members out of their share of the money. The Big 12’s demise will ultimately be caused by Texas.

DawginLex

September 7th, 2011
10:39 am

It’s gonna be West Virginia in the east and A&M in the west

FLdawg

September 7th, 2011
10:39 am

You are correct 5150,
UGA is pathetic and weak, weak players and weak UGA coaching, weak S&C.
This proves my point. The SEC will get weaker with more weak schools. We dont need any more weak schools. We are weaking out.

Doug the Jacket

September 7th, 2011
10:41 am

Go Baylor Bears!

gt81

September 7th, 2011
10:43 am

YAM is easily as strong as uga .. maybe we can swap them.. that way uga can actually win some conference games again

RedandBlackDAWG

September 7th, 2011
10:43 am

The SEC is not raiding a conference. A and M asked to join, we didn’t actively recruit them at first, from what I have read. If A and M does get into the SEC, who comes after them to even up the teams? This choice has to be carefully considered and not just get a team to even up the number.

Big Enos Burdette

September 7th, 2011
10:43 am

Give the SEC a little slack, Schultzie, the Big 10 (er, 11) and PAC 10 did a little something like this last year I hear. It’s not like the SEC invented this deal. Why the hate?

Sean

September 7th, 2011
10:45 am

Quit crying about Texas A&M joining the SEC. It’s either they join the SEC or some other conference. You act like the SEC is the one destroying college football’s landscape. Honestly, who cares. It would be good football. Would you rather we just keep playing the same teams that are full of excitement like Vandy, Miss State, Kentucky and Ole Miss. You’re right, it is about money. But guess what, so is everything else.

As far as the other numbnuts who think A&M is terrible for the SEC, are they really worse than the teams I listed before? You were probably the same ones who blasted the SEC when they brought in Arkansas and South Carolina. And as far as I can see, that worked out pretty well.

Let’s see, SEC still will have the best college football. Kids still want to come to the SEC to play for these schools. Schools still get paid. Kids still get their education, unless they decide to pull a Caleb King or pursue other options. And everyone who is complaining about it will get over themselves soon enough. You’re right, this is such a terrible idea. We should just dissolve all of the conferences and make everyone an Independent.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 7th, 2011
10:45 am

How is Texas A&M being ranked #7 in the AP Poll Ole Miss? Since meeting us in the Independence Bowl they have sky rocketed while we keep stumbling. Not only does the SEC get the Texas market but a very solid program with rich football tradition. I am not a fan of the move but hell give A&M the credit they deserve.

Gator Mike

September 7th, 2011
10:46 am

Jeff, very good article, and I agree with you on the conference expansion. In fact, I was not a fan of adding Arkansas and SoCar 20 years ago. That was the first step in all of this mess. As for the Big 12 (with 10 teams and soon to be 9 teams), their problem appears to be exacerbated by the greed of the Univ. of Texas and their Longhorn Network. I do not blame Tx A&M for being mad, but I do not believe we need them in the SEC.
Hopefully, we can just have some good college football this season without all of the off the field drama, i.e. Ohio State, Miami, conference expansion, etc.

Dontavius Supremo

September 7th, 2011
10:46 am

The SEC basically has two teams that are year in and year out top tier college football teams, and those are Alabama and Florida. Other than those two, who are the SEC powerhouses that you fear “watering down?” Seems to me that Texas A&M would be right at home with Tennessee, or Georgia, or South Catolina, or Arkansas, or LSU, or Ole Miss or (gasp!) Mighty Vanderbilt!

Little Enos Burdette

September 7th, 2011
10:46 am

A legend and a out of work bum look a lot alike to me daddy

cajdawg

September 7th, 2011
10:47 am

Couple of comments:

Texas A&M will be a great addition to the SEC, quality academic institution. AAU member, typically ranked between 40 – 60 in national university rankings. They bring the Texas TV market. Hopefully, influential texas politicians will slap Baylor around in private and stop this petty last-minute manuever.

West Virginia, hell no, this will not happen. Missouri is a much better choice, geographically contiguous, AAU member and typically ranked 50-70. Additionally, Missouri brings greater TV markets. Missouri would prefer the big 10, but would jump on an offer from the SEC if the big 10 doesn’t offer and there is no rumor of an impending offer at this time.

Sean

September 7th, 2011
10:48 am

And here’s the problem with Baylor threatening to sue. They already allowed Nebraska and Colorado to walk away. So the prescedent has been set. The lawsuit won’t go far. Besides, if it was Baylor they would had done the very same thing.

Patrick Tuohy

September 7th, 2011
10:48 am

I live 45 miles from Sanford Stadium and just obtained 2 tickets to a Ga. home game. Texas A&M has a decent academic reputation and fans as intense and thoroughly demented as any in the U.S.
(see BONFIRE, The Night Of the Tumbling Lumberjacks). The SEC would be able to recruit some fine ballplayers from the great state of Texas.

As for the “it’s all about the money” whimpering: College athletes spend a lot of time on their athletic careers and may not have time for part-time jobs. I believe the schools should share some of the money they make with the people who earn it. A small stipend equal to a typical part-time job would be appropriate for those involved in the sports thar turn a profit.

Joe Bob Thibodaux

September 7th, 2011
10:49 am

I don’t think the Tex-agg-eeeeees will water down the SEC. They will make it even tougher to win the conference title. The road trips will be extended a long way with this one. It might even open up the possibility of having the SEC Championship game in Dallas instead of Atlanta.

SEC Rocks!

September 7th, 2011
10:50 am

Yeah Right. Jeff is simply worried his poor Dawgs will have even more competition truly limiting Athens to middle of the pack status in the East.

Mike Frech

September 7th, 2011
10:51 am

Baylor sucks! Let the process move forward the in the manner that you originally agreed to. The demise of the Big 12 is imminent, and it is going to happen whether you like it or not. And conferences are going to expand, whether you like it or not. The NCAA has nobody but themselves to blame for letting all of this madness take place, but now it is TOO LATE. The writing is on the wall: Mega-conferences are the future of college football, and that is just the way it is!

GTBob

September 7th, 2011
10:52 am

Give it up Baylor. It’s time to blow things up and you are prolonging the inevitable. I get their reason for blocking it but it’s not going to do anything in the long run. What if Oklahoma is already planning to leave also? Does Baylor think they can block everybody?

5150 UOAD

September 7th, 2011
10:53 am

The one thing I want to see is the cost these far away schools will create in Travel cost? Football is only like 5 road games on 5 weekends, but Basketball plays 30 games and on any night of the week. You ain’t bus riding to Texas A&M from Georgia. How are the Bball players going to be able to go to class? What will the Travel cost by Air be?

Remarkable

September 7th, 2011
10:53 am

5150 UOAD Who did the other SEC schools play this weekend? UGA played the number 5 school in the country.
Alabama played Kent State (Wow)
Arkansas played Missouri State
Auburn played Utah State
Mississippi State played Memphis
Florida played Florida Atlantic
Kentucky played Western Kentucky
South Carolina played East Carolina (And had a hard time.)
Tennessee played Montana
Vanderbilt played Elon (Double Wow!)

ON THE OTHER HAND
LSU Tigers played Oregon (Ranked # 4)
Ole Miss Rebels played BYU (Ranked # 33)
Georgia Played Boisie State (Ranked # 5.)

Where exactly was Kent State Ranked?

Little Enos Burdette

September 7th, 2011
10:54 am

Why all the crying about how this is ruining college football. All the universities making tons of money with a virtually free (at least on the books) labor force are charting their course. It is what it is. Roll with it. College athletics has been a cesspool since shortly after it was invented. No un-ringing the bell a century later.

jerry

September 7th, 2011
10:57 am

Without a legal agreement, how can one school prevent another from joining any conference that will have them?

Ole Smoky

September 7th, 2011
10:57 am

If you were Baylor…. What would you do ? I don’t blame em !

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 7th, 2011
10:59 am

I will not say Baylor sucks. After watching RGIII play I think he would light us up.

5150 UOAD

September 7th, 2011
11:00 am

Joe Bob Thibodaux
It might even open up the possibility of having the SEC Championship game in Dallas instead of Atlanta.

I don’t think the game will leave the DOME. The new Dallas stadium is hard to get to from the airport.
ATL get on the MARTA train go to he hotels and right to the front door of the stadium. The SNOW STORM in Dallas killed the game people couldn’t get from the hotels to the game that will not be an issue in the DOME in Atlanta.
Just My Opinion

Delbert D.

September 7th, 2011
11:00 am

Is Baylor suing to join the SEC?

PerimeterCenterJacket

September 7th, 2011
11:01 am

And the first domino falls…I’m hoping the folks on The Hill at North Avenue have a good idea of how to keep GT’s head above water when all this goes down. I really don’t think the SEC’s looking to stop at 14 if the Pac-12 is all but shouting from the rooftops it’s about to go to 16. Tech needs its traditional rivals back, but I fear we’re a lot like Baylor in this little game right now. That is, unless the ACC will be proactive and go to 14 or 16 before the SEC can lure away anyone in our clubhouse. Kind of makes me nervous.

jeffrey d

September 7th, 2011
11:02 am

I don’t get why some people are against expansion. I like having the ideas of more and more superpowers in the same conference. Makes for more interesting matchups. I know on paper, college football is supposed to be academics first, but come on…we’re not watching and paying money to watch our team take tests.

JD

September 7th, 2011
11:02 am

Trade UGA and coaches for Texas A&M

produce wiz

September 7th, 2011
11:02 am

SUPER CONFERENCES WILL MAKE IT HARDER FOR ANY TEAM TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND WATCH THE FANS REACTION TO THAT.NOT HAPPY.

Joe Bob Thibodaux

September 7th, 2011
11:03 am

Good points 5150. Time will tell.

Delbert D.

September 7th, 2011
11:03 am

51 – Did MARTA add a new stop? It’s a bit of a hike from the one for Philips Arena and the WCC. Not as bad as Five Points to Turner Field, though.

StorageDawg

September 7th, 2011
11:04 am

I know Alabama is good today. But, who were they 5 or 6 years ago? They sucked! So what is this Alabama is a powerhouse year in and year out. Get off your bandwagon!

@5150

September 7th, 2011
11:06 am

5150 is a TECHIE. They played Western Carolina and play in the ACC. ‘Nuff said. What a tool.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

September 7th, 2011
11:06 am

First of all, I love Texas A&M coming to the SEC. Great school, rising football program, great culture.

Secondly, this little legal stunt isn’t going to go anywhere. It’ll just make the Big XII look even worse than it already does, and either the conference or the state legislature of wherever the all-of-the-sudden dissenting school is (probably Texas, considering Baylor’s most likely throwing the hissy fit) will tell them to knock it off.

What’re they gonna sue for? Texas A&M is leaving and will pay the appropriate fines as stated in their contract with the Big XII. A&M was the initiator of this deal, so the SEC can’t be sued for tampering, raiding or any other breach of contract violation.

This is just pathetic legal posturing (probably by Baylor) to keep what little cash-flow they get from the Big XII (they don’t have an even distribution system like the SEC: Texas, OU and A&M get all the money) intact because, let’s face it, when the Big XII goes all pear-shaped, no one’s going to want Baylor.

Go Dawgs!