Monday, June 14, 2010

no SEC please, we're Texans

Loftin explains via email
To The Aggie Family:

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of speculation as Texas A&M University and several other institutions in the Big 12 Conference evaluated our athletic affiliations. At the end of the day, 10 of the 12 schools in the Big 12 – including Texas A&M – have determined that the conference was definitely worth saving due to our collective strengths in academics, national competitiveness, geographic fit and overall financial value.

Throughout the conference evaluation process, I was encouraged by something that I already knew –Texas A&M is incredibly strong and the passion of our current and former students, as well as our faculty and staff, is unmatched anywhere. As evidence, I have been overwhelmed by thousands of emails, phone calls and Facebook posts from Aggies in support of any of the three options we were considering – remaining in the Big 12, or joining the Southeastern Conference or Pac-10 Conference.

Let me be clear: This decision was made in the best interests of Texas A&M and was not made in haste. As I mentioned to the Faculty Senate Monday afternoon, our top consideration was the demands placed on our student-athletes, in terms of academics, time away from the classroom, and the overall level of competition. There were also many other factors considered, including maintaining Texas A&M’s strong foothold in the State of Texas and preserving our natural athletic rivalries, many of which date back more than 100 years. And, ultimately, by remaining a member of the Big 12, we were able to more than double our financial return to the levels being offered by other conferences.

I understand that some Aggies are disappointed, but I am confident this decision will serve Texas A&M well in the years to come. As Athletic Director Bill Byrne and I stated numerous times throughout this process, our hope and desire was for the Big 12 to continue. And we both agree that this is an exciting, new day for our league.

I appreciate all of your feedback and thoughts on this important issue. As Aggies, I know that you will rally around our Texas A&M student-athletes as they train over the summer and begin Big 12 competition this fall.

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