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Texas A&M plans to leave Big 12 by July 2012

Texas A&M plans to leave Big 12 by July 2012

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From Tulsa World Senior Sports Columnist John Klein's blog: "No matter what you think of Texas A&M, and most folks in Texas and Oklahoma seem to be in agreement about the over-hyped Ags, the Aggies were a great fit in the Big 12."

HOUSTON — Texas A&M has told the Big 12 Conference it plans to leave the league by July 2012 if it is accepted by another conference.

The move, which had been expected, may set off another round of conference realignment in college sports. The Aggies have made it clear they want to join the 12-member Southeastern Conference.

University President R. Bowen Loftin notified the Big 12 in a letter and said it departing the Big 12 "is in the best interest of Texas A&M." He said he hopes the move can be amicable and presumably hopes to negotiate a reasonable exit fee.

Texas A&M had been in the Big 12 since its founding in 1996. Loftin says the school wants greater visibility nationwide as well as "the necessary and stable financial resources" need to support athletics.

The SEC said Wednesday that it had not received an application from Texas A&M to join the league and that it would have no further comment.

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe says the nine other schools in the conference are “steadfast in their commitment to the Big 12” and that the conference will be “aggressively exploring its membership options.” Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, chairman of the Big 12 board of directors, says the group is “committed to keeping our conference competitively and academically strong.”


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