The Southeastern Conference says it's sticking with its
12-school membership for now.
A statement from University of Florida President Bernie Machen,
the chairman of the league's presidents and chancellors committee,
says the group met Sunday and "reaffirmed our satisfaction with
the present 12 institutional alignment."
Machen says no action was taken regarding Texas A&M or any other schools.
However, Machen didn't close the door on future growth. He says
the group talked about the criteria and process associated with
expanding should the league choose to grow in the future.
The Aggies are reportedly seeking to leave the Big 12. The Texas
A&M System board of regents has a meeting slated for Monday that
includes an agenda item about conference alignment.
Here is the complete statement from Dr. Bernie Machen, Chair, Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors:
"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."
However it seems not all is lost on the Aggies to the SEC front. Texas A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne cut short his European trip with the A&M men's basketball team and flew back from Paris this morning. This is after a conference call with A&M coaches during his trip on Saturday.
Both the SEC and Texas A&M have to follow the law. SEC presidents did not take any action today, but they did meet on almost no notice on a Sunday to discuss the situation. The Texas A&M Board of Regents will still meet Monday and is likely to give President Loftin the authority to seek a new conference for the Aggies. Loftin will then have the opportunity to discuss matters with the SEC, and with all legal obligations fulfilled.
President Loftin sent this statement at 4:30 Sunday afternoon.
"As we have seen over the past several days, there has been a considerable amount of misinformation regarding these discussions and any associated timelines. The chairman of our board has indicated that the regents will proceed with tomorrow's agenda item, which authorizes the president of Texas A&M to take all actions related to athletic conference alignment. I will also accept Chairman Branch's invitation to participate in his committee's hearing on Tuesday. These are extremely complex issues, and it is imperative that we proceed methodically and in the best interests of Texas A&M."
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