Gerald Goodridge, News9.com
COLLEGE STATION, Oklahoma -- After weeks of speculation, Texas A&M University announced Wednesday that it had officially withdrawn from the Big 12 conference, pending acceptance to another conference.
In a statement released by the university Wednesday, Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin said that he had "determined it is in the best interest of Texas A&M to make application to join another athletic conference."
"We appreciate the Big 12's willingness to engage in a dialogue to end our relationship through a mutually agreeable settlement," Loftin said. "We, too, desire that this process be as amicable and prompt as possible and result in a resolution of all outstanding issues, including mutual waivers by Texas A&M and the conference on behalf of all the remaining members."If the Aggies are accepted to another conference, it will end its membership with the Big 12 effective June 30, 2012.
In early August, reports surfaced that Texas A&M had left the Big 12 for the SEC, re-igniting rumors that swirled in the summer of 2010 during the period in which Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12 for the Big 10 and Pac-12, respectively.
On August 13, members of the SEC presidents and chancellors committee met and "reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment," but left the door open for possible expansion in the future.
"We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league," spokesperson Bernie Machen said. "We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion."
Two days later, Loftin was granted the power by the Texas A&M Board of Regents to take any action on the university's future conference alignment. Shortly after, reports surfaced that the Aggies had already left the Big 12 in favor of the SEC.
Continuing the march to a conference switch, Loftin sent a letter to the Big 12 Conference August 25, stating that he was exploring other options for the university's conference future.
According to Texas A&M spokesperson Jason Cook, the university will not hold a press conference to discuss Wednesday's announcement.