The Southeastern Conference says it has accepted Texas A&M's application to join the league, but the move is being held up because Baylor University is refusing to waive its legal remedies against the SEC, a source close to the situation said Wednesday.
Baylor President Ken Starr is expected to make a statement on the situation later Wednesday, the source said.
President R. Bowen Loftin issued this statement regarding the conference situation: "We are certainly pleased with the action taken 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."
The SEC said in a statement released Wednesday that it had already received "unanimous written assurance" from the Big 12 on Sept. 2 that it was free to accept Texas A&M.
The SEC said its presidents approved the invitation to Texas A&M, but Wednesday it received word from the Big 12 that one of its schools had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action.
The conference requires waivers from all nine of the remaining Big 12 schools.
“The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure,” said Dr. Bernie Machen, chair, Southeastern Conference presidents and chancellors.
The development comes a day after Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops said he doesn't think it would be necessary for his Sooners to continue playing the Red River Rivalry game every year if Oklahoma and Texas were to end up in different conferences.
The statement fueled speculation that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are looking to leave the Big 12, as well.
“No one wants to hear that, but life changes,” Stoops said.
Stoops said he loves the Oklahoma-Texas game but if it doesn't continue, "sometimes that's the way it goes."
The two schools first met in 1900 and have been playing every year at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas since 1929.
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