Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Aggies celebrate a move to their new home
By David Ubben
No more rumors or covert plane tracking this time.
Mike Slive got off an airplane in College Station and got to tend to his business.
The SEC commissioner made his way to Aggieland and took a seat next to Florida president Bernie Machen, the chairman of the SEC leaders and Texas A&M officials to welcome the Aggies as the SEC's 13th member.
"We were very happy at 12," Slive said. "When Texas A&M came to us and indicated their interest in joining the SEC, we said to ourselves: 'That is a great institution, academically, athletically, culturally and in every way, and a real fit.' So we decided even though we were content with 12, that we had the opportunity to have Texas A&M as part of the SEC was something that we just did not want to give up."
The SEC plans to remain at 13 for the immediate future.
Slive and the Aggies took questions in front of hundreds of Texas A&M fans who showed up to the Zone Club at Kyle Field to celebrate their new home.
Sources told ESPN's Joe Schad on Monday that the school's play in the league next year is "unconditional." If any school, including Baylor, files litigation against A&M, it would be addressed at that time.
Slive said that fear was quelled when Oklahoma decided it would stay in the Big 12 and keep the remaining nine teams together. The SEC was given no assurances that schools would not take legal action, but decided Oklahoma's decision was enough to go ahead with A&M's admission into the conference.
Iowa State officials told the Des Moines Register this week that they have not waived their right to legal action, but the SEC felt comfortable enough with the Big 12's future that it went ahead and made official what the league's presidents unanimously voted to do back on Sept. 6.