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Former Texas A&M president reacts to SEC expansion talks of adding Texas, Oklahoma

Many Aggies are opposed to the idea of bringing the Longhorns into the Southeastern Conference.
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 12:05 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M fans are closely following the possible addition of the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma into the Southeastern Conference.

Former President R. Bowen Loftin said Friday morning he doesn’t think it’s a great idea to let Texas join the SEC. Loftin said it feels like déjà vu when Texas was considering looking at the Pac 12 and conference realignments more than 10 years ago.

“Well most Aggies I’ve talked to are very much against this,” said Loftin, who served as the university’s president during Texas A&M’s transition into the SEC in July 2012.

He said he doesn’t think Texas would be a good fit for the conference.

“There are two major things I see here. The one is just a cultural fit. A&M has a great fit in the SEC. I could argue OU may have a great fit as well. They’re a school with a lot of commonality. But Texas really doesn’t have a good fit in most SEC schools and I find it curious they want to do that. But again this is about [following] the money,” Loftin said.

”There’s politics, there’s money and there’s cultural fit. Those are the three basic things we’re juggling right now and, unfortunately, money usually wins those kinds of tugs of war.”

He said the dynamics appear to be changing from his time working with the SEC.

“This may be a real shift of how the SEC is moving and again I think that ESPN has to be playing a major role here,” said Loftin.

He said current SEC schools still have a voice on who might be allowed to join.

”Well there has to be a vote no question about that and the bylaws indicate that if four schools voted against this kind of addition to the SEC it couldn’t happen. But again I don’t know what’s been done... In the Big 12 when I was part of the equation there Texas was clearly the major force to be reckoned with there. Oklahoma somewhat less so but still a powerful voice there,” said Loftin.

He added if Texas and Oklahoma move, it would cause the Big 12 to collapse.

”First of all pay attention and secondly hold on to your hat. This is going to be a wild ride... If this has been talked about for months without A&M being part of the conversation that surprises. It doesn’t reflect the kind of SEC that we joined a decade ago,” he said.

We also reached out to new Texas A&M President Dr. Kathy Banks Friday. She would be the one to ultimately vote on A&M’s behalf. Her office referred us to Athletics. Aggie Athletics told us Friday afternoon they didn’t have anything new to say.

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