Report: Texas A&M considering SEC

Updated: August 11, 2011, 2:07 PM ET
By David Ubben | ESPN.com

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says his alma mater, Texas A&M, and the SEC are discussing the Aggies possible future membership in the league, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News.

Perry was asked by reporters from the paper on Wednesday about recent swirling speculation surrounding the move.

"I'll be real honest with you. I just read about it the same time as y'all did. ... As far as I know, conversations are being had. That's frankly all I know. I just refer you to the university and the decision makers over there."

Perry once served as a yell leader for the university, whose president, R. Bowen Loftin, recently acknowledged that there was "uncertainty" regarding the university's future membership in the Big 12.

Texas A&M released this statement to multiple media outlets: "President Loftin is committed to doing what is best for Texas A&M not only now, but also into the future. We continue to have wide-ranging conversations regarding all aspects of the university, including both academics and athletics."

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe is taking Texas A&M's possible move "very seriously."

"I've been talking to a number of people." Beebe told the Austin American-Statesman. "Obviously, there are a significant number of Aggie supporters who are interested in going in that (SEC) direction.

"There's a huge risk if an institution leaves its geographic proximity and rivalries. In the long run, it can create a lot of problems."

Texas A&M discussed membership in the league last summer with the Big 12's future in doubt, but university leaders chose to remain in the Big 12.

Texas A&M leaders have expressed concern about the Longhorn Network's effect on the longterm stability of the Big 12, and rumors of renewed talks between the university and the conference have persisted in recent weeks.

David Ubben covers the Big 12 for ESPN.com.