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Aggies Accepted To SEC - Party On Hold

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Aggies Accepted To SEC - Party On Hold

Post  Carolina Kat on Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:54 pm

Updated: September 7, 2011, 9:30 AM ET

Legal threat delays Aggies' move to SEC

By Joe Schad
ESPN

The member presidents of the Southeastern Conference unanimously voted to accept Texas A&M Tuesday night as the league's 13th member, but the Aggies' official acceptance has been delayed by the potential threat of legal action.

The SEC's presidents want assurances that no individual Big 12 school will sue for contractual interference over Texas A&M's departure. Baylor has not given that assurance to this point, according to sources.

"We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action," University of Florida president and SEC chairman Dr. Bernie Machen said in a statement released Wednesday. "The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. "

The SEC received written assurance from the Big 12 on Sept. 2 that it was free to accept Texas A&M as a member, Machen said.

Texas A&M had planned a celebration and news conference at the College Station campus for Wednesday but that is now on hold.

Texas A&M has said throughout the process that it was taking methodical steps. The Aggies hope to begin play in the SEC next season and have already sold out season tickets, in part from anticipation of the move.

Texas A&M is interested in making what it considers a bold move to separate itself from Texas while aligning with a conference it believes is a cultural fit and provides high visibility and financial stability. The SEC is interested in adding Texas to its television and recruiting footprint.

Joe Schad is a college football reporter for ESPN. Andy Katz of ESPN.com contributed to this report.

Carolina Kat
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