Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Big 12 [Print without images]

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Aggies take next step in ongoing process

By David Ubben

Texas A&M has moved its intentions to the light from the closed doors of meeting rooms.

The university announced that it notified the Big 12 of its intention to explore its options pertaining to 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,” Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin said in a release. "While we understand the desire of all parties to quickly reach a resolution, these are extremely complex issues that we are addressing methodically."

The university made its intentions known in a letter delivered to Dan Beebe on Thursday, according to SI.com.

This would be consistent with the manner in which Nebraska withdrew from the conference last year.

Texas A&M also made it clear that it will support the Big 12's efforts to expand with a new member should the Aggies leave.

Unlike Nebraska's move, however, Texas A&M's next move may leave the university in limbo for a bit longer.

When Nebraska announced its formal intention to withdraw from the Big 12, it was accepted to the Big Ten just hours later.

Texas A&M has yet to formally withdraw from the Big 12, but may have an opportunity to do so when the Big 12's board of directors meets on Saturday.

In its letter, Texas A&M formally asked the Big 12 that it would "appreciate your conferring with the other member institutions and outlining for us the process to be followed by Texas A&M should it withdraw from the Conference."

Strong words, especially that big "W" one  toward the end.

Nothing's official yet, but it would seem Texas A&M has made up its mind about its future. Common sense would indicate that it wouldn't send a release like this if it didn't have at least some assurance on the SEC's behalf that the feeling was mutual.

For now, though, we'll have to wait for anything to be official and in writing.