No matter Texas A&M's direction from here, there's one place the Aggies won't be after next summer: the Big 12.
Following this school year, A&M intends to be in the Southeastern Conference, and assurances out of Aggieland on Thursday night are that an announcement on that front is simply a “matter of time.” If the SEC agreement somehow falls through — and chances are great it won't — the Aggies might go independent for a year.
That's how bad they don't want to be in the Big 12. Multiple A&M insiders have said as much — the Aggies have gone too far to turn around now. And, on Tuesday night, the SEC presidents unanimously approved A&M's entrance into their league in time for the 2012 season. On one surprising condition: the Aggies clear up any sudden threats of lawsuits from Baylor (or anyone else) over their Big 12 exit.
Last January, in a prime example of how Baylor president Ken Starr will do anything for the Bears, Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey entered A&M's Reed Arena press conference room in search of a seat. Starr, leaning against a wall, quickly hustled her up a chair, prompting a big grin from Mulkey that the university leader would go to such trouble.
Aggies aren't smiling this week, however, after a troubled Starr stunningly yanked the chair from under their SEC plans — as the SEC cited A&M needing to rid itself of “contractual hindrances” in its Big 12 exit. For now, Baylor refuses to budge from its threat of a lawsuit, in a last-ditch act to save the Big 12 (and primarily itself). Reports surfaced Thursday the Big East might pursue Baylor and other Big 12 leftovers should the league disband, but Bears officials are first going to do all they can to save their current league.
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