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Texas A&M to Big 12: We're exploring our options

Texas A&M has notified the Big 12 that it is exploring its options related to the school's athletic conference affiliation.

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin sent a letter to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe. In that letter, Loftin said that Texas A&M would follow Big 12 bylaws if the Aggies decided to leave the conference. Therefore, Texas A&M has requested that the Big 12 outline a process for the Aggies to leave the conference if they decide to do so.

It now appears that Texas A&M has started the process and taken another step toward leaving the Big 12 and possibly joining the SEC (see below).

Loftin also wrote that Texas A&M would support the Big 12's search for a replacement school.

SMU has expressed a strong interest in joining the Big 12, which the Dallas Morning News reported in this story.

Here is what Loftin wrote to Beebe:

"As I have indicated previously, we are working very deliberately to act in the best long-term interests of both Texas A&M and the State of Texas. This truly is a 100-year decision. While we understand the desire of all parties to quickly reach a resolution, these are extremely complex issues that we are addressing methodically.

"Ultimately, we are seeking to generate greater visibility nationwide for Texas A&M and our championship-caliber student-athletes, as well as secure the necessary and stable financial resources to support our athletic and academic programs. As a public university, Texas A&M owes it to the state's taxpayers to maximize our assets and generate additional revenues both now and well into the future."

Texas A&M recently mulled a move to the SEC, but SEC presidents met earlier this month and decided not to do anything at the current time regarding the Aggies.

But it's looking more likely that Texas A&M's time in the Big 12 is coming to end. The big question now is how soon before the Aggies join the SEC? And how difficult will it really be to leave the Big 12?

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