Arkansas AD says school was recently approached by Big 12
Arkansas' AD says the Big 12 contacted the school about joining the conference
Long says the Razorbacks are content on remaining in the Southeast Conference
SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said Wednesday that the school was approached recently about joining the Big 12.
Long told The Associated Press the Razorbacks are content to remain in the Southeastern Conference and that the discussions over joining the Big 12 didn't go very far.
"I think that our program is such that there are a number of conferences that would love to have us as a member, but we're strongly committed to the SEC," he said. "I'd be surprised if we weren't reached out to by other conferences about joining them. That happened, it didn't surprise me, but we are committed to the SEC. It's the strongest conference in the country and only going to get stronger."
Long commented hours after the SEC's announcement that it will accept Texas A&M as the league's 13th member, if the school can exit the Big 12 without any pending legal issues.
Long said the SEC is prepared to move forward with 13 teams should Texas A&M join the conference. He also said discussions over a 14th team had not begun.
"I would say that most people think 14 is the logical step," he said. "I would say the SEC is prepared to move forward with 13. It would be fair for me to say there are schools interested in becoming that 14th member, and again, we're not seeking them out, they're seeking us out. Again, that will play out in the days, weeks and months ahead."
Long said he didn't know how long the "ripple effect" of realignment might go on.
"If we stay at 12, not much will change," he said. "If we go to 13, there will be some other ripple effects from that. Whether those play out in weeks or months, or whether they're in the next several years, I do think the landscape is going to continue to change."
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