Aggies formally say they’re exploring

Texas A&M took another step toward a move to the Southeastern Conference on Thursday, formally notifying the Big 12 that the university is exploring its options with regard to its conference affiliation.

"As I have indicated previously, we are working very deliberately to act in the best long-term interests of both Texas A&M and the State of Texas. This truly is a 100-year decision," wrote Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin in a letter to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe.

"While we understand the desire of all parties to quickly reach a resolution, these are extremely complex issues that we are addressing methodically. Ultimately, we are seeking to generate greater visibility nationwide for Texas A&M and our championship-caliber student-athletes, as well as secure the necessary and stable financial resources to support our athletic and academic programs. As a public university, Texas A&M owes it to the state’s taxpayers to maximize our assets and generate additional revenues both now and well into the future."

Texas A&M also said in a press release that it is seeking guidance from the Big 12 on the process for leaving the conference if the school does decide to depart.

The Big 12 university presidents are scheduled to hold a teleconference this weekend. University of Texas president William Powers told the Austin American-Statesman he assumes Texas A&M’s situation is the reason for the discussion.

Reports surfaced on Aug. 13 that A&M had decided to leave the Big 12 to become the SEC’s 13th member. Two days later, the university’s Board of Regents granted Loftin permission to negotiate a move out of the Big 12.