Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork claims the Aggies will be prepared must Texas and Oklahoma sign up for the SEC, adding that any problem with the prospective move was about preserving the collaborative nature of the league.
“No matter of who joins the SEC, irrespective of whether it truly is now [or] in the foreseeable future, ‘the 12th Man’ is all set,” Bjork explained to ESPN on Saturday. “Our groups are completely ready. Our coaches are completely ready. Our athletic department is all set to compete at the maximum degree. That’s what the SEC is, that’s what we are as a college, and we are prepared for whatever will come next.”
Texas and Oklahoma could make their shift to the SEC formal in a issue of weeks, a supply confirmed to ESPN on Friday. The Austin American-Statesman to start with noted that timeline.
Meanwhile, various Huge 12 resources advised ESPN’s Heather Dinich on Saturday they are anticipating Oklahoma and Texas to formally notify the Huge 12 on Monday that they really don’t intend to increase their current media legal rights offers with the league, which expire in 2025. It can be the to start with official stage in numerous needed to exit the league, but that notification at facial area value would not point out any moves right before that present contract expires.
Oklahoma and Texas signed a Large 12 grant-of-legal rights arrangement, in which they granted their first- and second-tier media legal rights for football and men’s basketball to the meeting through June 30, 2025. That usually means the Huge 12 would however have those schools’ media rights for all those sporting activities, even if they are no extended associates, until eventually the agreement expires.
With a heated rivalry that dates to 1894, Texas A&M and Texas were being each founding users of the Significant 12 in 1996 soon after the Southwest Conference’s demise. The Large 12’s early days ended up marked by infighting, and the merger of the previous Significant 8 and 4 Texas educational facilities was strained.
Colorado departed for the Pac-12 in 2010, the very same yr Nebraska remaining for the Large 10. The Aggies and Missouri left in 2011 right after Texas and ESPN declared strategies for the Longhorn Network, which pays Texas $300 million in excess of 20 decades for its personal tv deal individual from the other conference members.
“The culture of an athletic meeting is a precedence for us, and 10 decades in the past when we joined the SEC, that was the culture that we were following: collaboration, equality and competitiveness,” claimed Bjork, who previously was athletic director at Ole Miss out on in advance of arriving at A&M. “This is going on my 10th 12 months in the SEC. It truly is what tends to make the SEC the very best convention and we have acquired to protect that.”
When the Houston Chronicle documented on Wednesday that the Sooners and Longhorns had been in conversations with the SEC, Bjork told reporters at SEC media days that he would be “diligent in our strategy to safeguard Texas A&M” and reported the Aggies needed to be the only SEC school in Texas.
Bjork mentioned on Saturday that A&M was mindful of the possible for expansion in the meeting, but that “we had been all surprised about the velocity and acceleration piece of this. We understood about realignment likely and the future of the Big 12 in specific and what those dynamics were.”
When asked if A&M would vote in opposition to Texas becoming a member of the meeting, Bjork reported they nevertheless will need additional facts.
“We are not to that point,” he reported. “We have governance composition at our campus to perform via. We never know what a good deal of the information and facts is at this position in time to even say one particular way or yet another.”
Bjork also declined to go over any thoughts on how other SEC educational institutions would vote on Texas and Oklahoma signing up for the convention, indicating only that any procedural facets or timing of enlargement will remain to be observed. But he reported he expects the SEC to be a location other schools would want to be.
“As you appear at the potential of school athletics, you have to look at it from the standpoint of who would not want to join the SEC?” Bjork claimed. “We are in a situation to direct in this changing transformative landscape. So of system there’s heading to be curiosity in many others joining with us. We assume we paved the way, that we have set a excellent case in point of what that appears to be like here in the condition of Texas, and we were being not stunned that other folks truly want to sign up for us.”
A Texas A&M board of regents assembly slated for Monday was set up for non-public discussion of the opportunity expansion, sources instructed ESPN, but experienced to be detailed publicly because of to condition guidelines relating to meetings.
Texas A&M president M. Katherine Banks also released a assertion on Saturday, indicating the Aggies are dedicated to their membership in the SEC.
“The previous handful of days have been hard in several techniques, and I acknowledge that modify in college or university athletics normally is unsettling for individuals who adore their institutions,” mentioned Banks, who took over as president on June 1. “Relaxation certain, the chancellor, our athletic director, and I, and every person involved in this make a difference are centered exclusively on what is best for Texas A&M College. Considering the fact that 2011, we have been a very pleased member of the very best intercollegiate athletic meeting in history and we glimpse ahead to ongoing achievements in our SEC partnership for many yrs to come.”
Bjork thinks irrespective of who’s in the meeting or when, the Aggies are in a posture of power.
“We’re the premier university in Texas,” he reported. “We’re more robust than we have at any time been prior to competitively. We are on the cusp of the College or university Soccer Playoff. We’ve received great momentum suitable now. “