Conference Realignment Update: Texas A&M Approved Unanimously, Baylor Tries to Block

As if the Baylor/Texas A&M meetings weren't contentious enough, the Bears are going back on their initial word to the Big 12 to approve the switch of Texas A&M to the SEC without any legal repercussions. A&M president Bowen Loftin released a statement today  expressing his disappointment in the "threats made" by certain institutions, namely Baylor.

'We are certainly pleased with the action taken last night by the presidents and chancellors of the Southeastern Conference to unanimously accept Texas A&M as the league's 13th member. However, this acceptance is conditional, and we are disappointed in the threats made by one of the Big 12 member institutions to coerce Texas A&M into staying in Big 12 Conference. These actions go against the commitment that was made by this university and the Big 12 on Sept. 2. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC."

In a letter from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe to to SEC commissioner Mike Slive, dated Sept. 2, he reaffirmed that the Big 12 would not take legal action provided the announcement of the Aggies' admission to the SEC came before 5 p.m. Sept. 8 (tomorrow).
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.    

For Baylor's part, they've created a page on their Baylor Nation website - "Don't Mess with Texas Football". The site appears to be dedicated to taking a stand against the other three Texas schools (Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M), who are all rumored to be leaving the Big 12.

Texans must stand up and call the leadership of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech to clear-headed thinking about the state's future. Texas' flagship institutions of higher learning are the guardians of the state's future-their loyalties must first be to Texas and to her citizens. Ask these leaders to take a stand for Texas and to stop this madness that will lead to the dissolution of the Big 12 and the end of an era for Texas.    

Can Baylor really stop the process that started the second Nebraska and Colorado left for greener pastures? The process that one of their state schools has perpetuated even further with the creation of the Longhorn Network? I'm sure that the Bears are just looking out for themselves, because really - let's face it. Where will the Christian school from Waco land if all the realignment rumors come true. But an 11th hour campaign against the Aggies seems to be counterproductive, and too little, too late.
I guess we wait another 29 hours to see if the Bears have any bite to their bark.

Statements from Beebe, the SEC and Loftin released today

UPDATE: Apparently the Baylor Bears have company in their refusal to give up rights to sue, as Iowa State has joined the party on Wednesday afternoon. There are also rumors and reports swirling that some of the disgruntled members of the current Big 12 would be willing to let A&M leave for the SEC if the University of Oklahoma is willing to recommit to the league. Um. Really?

My observation is this: the schools that are less likely to land in an automatic qualifying football conference when the dust settles are freaking out. So much so that they've decided to try to hold the Sooners hostage - this is the school that's made statements on wanting a league with stability. I'm not thinking getting sued and threatened by their supposed conference friends trends toward stability. If I were OU, I'd run screaming from this Twilight Zone of a league immediately.

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