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Posted: Wednesday September 7, 2011 1:15PM ; Updated: Wednesday September 7, 2011 4:57PM

Roundup: Statements on A&M's move to SEC

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Florida president Bernie Machen, chair of the SEC's presidents group, said the SEC was notified Tuesday afternoon that one Big 12 school was considering legal action.
Florida president Bernie Machen, chair of the SEC's presidents group, said the SEC was notified Tuesday afternoon that one Big 12 school was considering legal action.
AP

Statement released Wednesday from Dr. Bernie Machen, chair of Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors:

'After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC. We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action. The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011.'

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'We are certainly pleased with the action taken last night 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.' - Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin.

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Copy of Sept. 2 letter from Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, released Wednesday by the SEC:

'This is to confirm our discussion yesterday during which I informed you that the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors unanimously authorized me to convey to you and their colleagues in the Southeastern Conference that the Big 12 and its members will not take any legal action for any possible claims against the SEC or its members relating to the departure of Texas A&M University from the Big 12 and the admission of Texas A&M into the SEC; provided, however, that such act by the SEC to admit Texas A&M is publicly confirmed by 5:00 p.m. (CDT) on September 8, 2011.

Such admission of Texas A&M will result in the withdrawal of Texas A&M from the Big 12 Conference effective June 30, 2012. We both agreed it is in the best interests of each of our conferences and our member institutions of higher education to waive any and all legal actions by either conference and its members resulting from admission of Texas A&M into the SEC, as long as such admission is confirmed publicly by September 8, 2011.

If any of your presidents and chancellors have concerns about this commitment of the Big 12 Conference, they may contact me or Brady Deaton, Big 12 Board of Director chairman and chancellor of the University of Missouri, Columbia.'

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Sept. 6 letter sent by Beebe to Slive at 10:39 p.m. (provided to The Associated Press by Loftin):

'Dear Mike:

You have notified me that the SEC is willing to accept the application of Texas A&M to become a member of the SEC, provided that the Big 12 member institutions individually waive any legal actions against the SEC for its decision. I recognize that this issue has been raised due to Baylor University's indication that its governing board has not waived the university's rights. As you know, the attached letter waived the right of the Big 12 Conference Inc. to take legal action against the SEC. Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton, chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors, has told me that he informed Texas A&M President Bowen Loftin that such action by the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors was not binding on the individual institutions' governing boards. If you seek waivers by the individual institutions, you must receive them from those institutions directly. I regret any confusion on this issue.

Best regards, Dan'

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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