Some Aggies excited to renew rivalry with UT after board of regents approve expansion vote
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - After two closed-door meetings this week, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents decided to support expansion of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
In a statement released about their deliberations that lasted over two hours in executive session, the board says they have the utmost confidence in both University President Katherine Banks and Athletics Director Ross Bjork to navigate discussions with the school’s SEC partners.
The board voted 8-1 to direct President Banks to vote to extend formal invitations to both the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma to join the SEC when the conference presidents consider the matter.
Some of the Aggies KBTX talked to say they agree with the board’s decision, citing their excitement at bringing back the in-state rivalry with the Longhorns.
“We’re in full support of it,” Texas A&M senior Ethan Graver said. “We’re two members of an organization on campus called Saw ‘Em Off, so this is what we’ve been waiting for for years.”
“I think we’re all pretty excited,” Emily Wells, another A&M senior, said. “My parents were Aggies, so I grew up on Thanksgiving always watching the TU-A&M game, and it was one of my favorite parts of my childhood.”
“It’s finally our chance to B-T-H-O TU year after year, so we’re looking forward to it,” Texas A&M senior Travis Moore said.
Some are surprised by the move though, since the initial reaction that came from university officials at the end of last week suggested they might have acted in the opposite direction.
“There was a strong response that we wanted to be the only school in Texas that’s in the SEC, so it was a little bit surprising for them to switch opinions so quickly,” Texas A&M masters student Matthew Zebrowski said. “I’m sure that the information came up kind of abruptly and they weren’t prepared.”
Zebrowski says he thought A&M might want to keep Texas out because “there’s a little bit of bad blood there,” but he personally thinks for the most part, adding the Longhorns is a good thing for the Aggies and the conference.
“There’s pros and cons to everything,” Zebrowski said. “At the end of the day, I grew up in Austin, and I have friends from there, so we haven’t been able to have that trash talk for a long time.”
“The tradition of the rivalry has sort of been removed from our university,” Texas A&M senior Kaitlyn Bennett said. “For them to allow that to come back would be absolutely amazing to bring those traditions back.”
“There’s going to be more hype with Texas back in the conference,” Hannah Doncov, who is an A&M grad student, said. “Definitely more than when LSU comes to town.”
The presidents of the SEC member schools are set to meet Thursday to discuss adding Texas and Oklahoma, which would create college football’s first super conference of 16 teams if both universities were ultimately voted in.
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