Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Another SEC roadblock for Texas A&M?
By David Ubben
Texas A&M appears to be on its way to the SEC, but the process has slowed, and the Aggies may have to clear another hurdle before being able to exit the Big 12.
This one, though, has nothing to do with good, old-fashioned Texan politicking, fits for the SEC's 14th team or votes from any number of board members.
The latest roadblock could be a possible meeting between top college officials, barring clearance from the NCAA.
According to a report in the New York Times, NCAA president Mark Emmert has reached out to officials to suggest a "less canniabalistic and more collegial way to approach conference expansion."
Tension is high among some commissioners, as Texas A&M of the Big 12 appears headed to the Southeastern Conference in the near future. The Big 12’s Dan Beebe and the SEC’s Mike Slive had a heated phone conversation last week about a potential move, according to a high-ranking college official with direct knowledge of the call.
As conferences teeter on the edge of significant realignment, Emmert’s proposal shows the level of concern among major college sports officials. Emmert lacks the authority to make unilateral decisions about realignment, but he can preach common sense.
Beebe disputed the claims to the Dallas Morning News, saying "We have been very direct but have not had any conversations with Mike Slive I would describe as heated, ever."
Texas A&M's exit to the SEC (which I do believe will eventually happen) has no current timeline, but if the NCAA gets seriously involved, any conference move could happen later than sooner.