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Texas A&M Football

A&M President and AD address Aggies' commitment to SEC

July 23, 2021
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Texas A&M President Katherine Banks on Saturday released a statement in which she confirmed Texas A&M’s commitment to the Southeastern Conference.

There has been backlash and emotional reactions since last Wednesday when news surfaced that the SEC would add Big 12 refugees Oklahoma and Texas.

Some reports suggested A&M might even look to leave the SEC. In a statement, President Banks made it clear that is not the case.

“That last few days have been challenging in many ways, and I recognize that change in college athletics often is unsettling for those who love their institutions,” Banks said in the statement. “Rest assured, the chancellor (John Sharp), our athletic director (Ross Bjork), and I and everyone involved in this matter are focused solely on what is best for Texas A&M University.

“Since 2011, we have been a proud member of the best intercollegiate athletic conference in history, and we look forward to continued success in our SEC partnership of many years to come.”

Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports
Even though it’s not in the university’s best interest, the Aggies stand a lot to gain financially with the new additions. 

At this point, it’s uncertain when Oklahoma and Texas would leave the Big 12 and join the SEC. Speculation is that it could come as early as 2022. However, the additions could be delayed until 2025 because of Big 12 contracts.

The addition of Oklahoma and Texas could substantially boost SEC television contracts and the annual pay-outs to each member institution. Last year, SEC schools received $45.5 million each.

With Texas and OU as members, the payout is projected to soar past the $54.3 million that Big Ten teams reportedly received in their last fiscal year.

The news of the impending additions, which according to reports could happen as early as this week, was met with anger by seemingly the majority of Aggies.

When A&M joined the SEC a decade ago, then-SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and then-A&M President R. Bowen Lofton were said to have a “gentlemen’s agreement” where A&M would remain the only SEC institution in the state of Texas.

However, Slive died in 2018, and Lofton is no longer in that position.

“We knew this day could happen and probably would happen,” Bjork said on Saturday. “We’re all surprised at the speed of it. As far as we’re concerned, the process and produces are in place in making sure (A&M’s) interests have been brought forward.

“The SEC is in position to lead. College athletics is changing and evolving. I know other people are interested in joining. That’s not surprising. We feel like in the state of Texas, we’ve paved the way for that.”

Amid issues primarily with Texas, Texas A&M bolted from the Big 12 and joined the SEC in football in 2012.

A&M had grown weary of Texas’ overwhelming influence in the Big 12. Texas had insisted on uneven revenue distribution, created the Longhorn Network and even tried to reach a deal to join the Pac-12 without consulting the other Big 12 programs involved.

“At the end of the day, the bottom line is whoever joins our conference, we’re ready. The 12th man is ready.”
- Texas A&M AD Ross Bjork

Bjork said no individual team has that much power in the SEC.

“The culture of an athletic conference is a priority for Texas A&M,” Bjork said. “Culture, collaboration, equality, competition … those things make the SEC the best conference in college sports. You’ve got to protect that and grow that. Being in the SEC 10 years, I’ve learned that.”

Although Texas A&M has previously refused overtures from Texas to renew the football series Texas canceled in 2011, Bjork said the Aggies will embrace the competition.

Last football season, the Aggies finished 9-1, won the Orange Bowl and were ranked No. 4 in the final national polls.

Bjork said the A&M athletic program as a whole is ready for anything.

“We're stronger we’ve ever been,” he said. “We have over 550,000 former students. We’re on the cusp of CFP. We have Olympians. Our women’s basketball teams were conference champions.

“At the end of the day, the bottom line is whoever joins our conference, we’re ready. The 12th man is ready. We’re ready to embrace whatever competition that is.”

Discussion from...

A&M President and AD address Aggies' commitment to SEC

19,900 Views | 44 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by A&M1994
AcoldStArnolds79
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AG
Don't let them in. They will disrupt and make the conference what the big 12 is. Go OU and OsU.
Aggie GIGolo
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Lol - Ross now toeing the company line. His tone certainly changed from WTF at media days to we will now sit in our corner and let the adults talk
valvemonkey91
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If it comes out that Banks knew or Sharp knew or Young knew and said NOTHING, the BOR needs to fire their asses!
dc509
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It's going to be fine. It's not liked they stopped playing football when we joined the SEC. They've just sucked. We're in a great spot with them or without them in the SEC. Bring it on.
AgOutsideAustin
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AG
Eff that guy
zachsccr
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AG
That's a concession speech if I've heard one
AgBQ-00
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AG
They let it out so the extreme emotion and vocal reaction did not happen when it was official. Now that the surprise is done, they are trying to reel all the emotion back in and get back to business.
Maroon Flash
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If he knew this day was coming, he should have gotten up off his ass and started working to get some different teams added to block this.

Adding OU and a team in the east would have imploded Texas.
Aftermath
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AG
Once again we crater to texas...they exert their will upon us and we sit back and have to take it.....how familiar it feels
oysterbayAG
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If the SEC expands with Texas & OU and maybe others, when we win the SEC Championship it will be an even greater accomplishment !
The Gross Prophet
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AG
Edited my original reply to be less of a Jackass.

Let's not sound so weak though
S.A. Aggie
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It was a done deal months ago or else it would not have been announced. tu and OU wouldn't have risked looking like fools if it wasn't already done. Saw'em off!
LatinAggie1997
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No spine amongst these "leaders". What is best for A&M was decided over a decade ago and that included separation from Austin. When things are reaching next level for A&M decisions are made to reverse the effect of joining the SEC.

Morons!
II wish for real leadership like Dr. Loftin brought to A&M.
alamogeorge
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AG
dc509 said:

It's going to be fine. It's not liked they stopped playing football when we joined the SEC. They've just sucked. We're in a great spot with them or without them in the SEC. Bring it on.
Winning football is not the point.
"You may all go to hell, and I will go to Aggieland!" -Davy Crockett
northeastag
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Good grief. The administration was informed and went along with it as it was happening, or the league did it behind their backs.

Either way, the message is pretty clear. Texas is more important to the SEC than we are. All that talk about how we were a better cultural fit and that the SEC was soooo glad to have us was apparently crap. The only conclusion is that our administration is extremely stupid, extremely gullible, or extremely obedient.

And all of you that are just fine with it, and want to just "bring it on" make me want to puke. Being in a different league than Texas for the past 10 years was like finally divorcing an abusive spouse and enjoying life. And now having them in the same league again is like opening up the front door and seeing that same sick spouse saying "I'm baaaaack!"
LatinAggie1997
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One huge difference is Slive was brilliant and Sankey is a Snake.

Loftin was a leader and visionary while the leadership now is Bush league.
milner79
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Bjork: "I know other people are interested in joining. That's not surprising. We feel like in the state of Texas, we've paved the way for that."

Got milquetoast?
fieldtrailer
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AG
I like this. Time to tone down the reteric and work it behind the scenes. I think they are definitely not content. Wel'll see.
greg.w.h
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This suggests the additional payout is $8.8 million and does not mention the $255 million additional in 2024-2025. Divided by 17 that then bring $54.3 to 69.3. Curiously enough, $255 divides by 17 (16 teams plus the conference office) evenly and adds $15 million per team,

So the expansion was baked into the ESPN bid for OTA and probably included a kicker of $8.8 million per team for cooperating with adding the two schools.

We are 10 years into the LHN's 20 year contract and the additional amount is conveniently $149.6 whih is half the $300 million contract with Texas. I will guess Texas us separately being bought out for a similar number since there was an escalator and the average was $15 per year but not the scheduled amount per year.

Fun and games with arithmetic!!!
ChemEAg08
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AG
Awesome! We will sit on our ass and take it as the sec stabs us in the back (along with the other members).

If we don't immediately petition for fsu, Miami, Clemson, Louisiana, Ga Tech and Louisville in the conference, heads need to roll.
woodlees
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AG
Those two and Sharp better be singing a different tune in behind the scenes negotiations

I have no reason to believe any of those three have the hutzpah that Bow tie did in dealing with these types of folks. Sure wish he was still here
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redjalapeno-87
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Yep, A&M had at best a team of over paid "rubber stampers" to do what ever ESPN/LHN demanded for sippy and their little brother "partner". After all, ESPN/LHN pay the bills, right? And A&M wants more money, right? Hail to the Mouse! Bring us back tu so once and for all "they're back" for reals.
W
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AG
so somewhere in this....A&M is going to get a concession or two from Sankey and the league --- right?

right? right?
ctag76
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AG
The sips screw up every conference they join. It will happen again if they join the SEC.
"But there's a spirit can ne'er be told ... It's the spirit of Aggieland."
CDiem05
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I'm happy that Bjork made the comments he did on Wednesday it was an honest moment and probably the only one we'll get during all of this. I do hope that it doesn't put a bad taste in his mouth I've really grown to like Bjork as a leader and want him around for a while!
Finn Harp
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TU is a PITA. Not worth the aggravation having to put up with their entitled non-sense.

Add OU plus another solid program to the SEC...

Clemson?
Notre Dame?
Virginia?
Virginia Tech?

Lots of better alternatives that expand the SEC's geography, fan base and potential for TV $$$

Let arrogant TU and ESPN go down in flames along with their Longhorn Network!
dc509
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AG
alamogeorge said:

dc509 said:

It's going to be fine. It's not liked they stopped playing football when we joined the SEC. They've just sucked. We're in a great spot with them or without them in the SEC. Bring it on.
Winning football is not the point.


Winning football is the only point. They might have the biggest brand in college football. If they wanted to join they were always getting in. I don't want to hear about any gentleman's agreement. This doesn't relegate us to second class status. Some of you need to chill out. Your reactions are really reenforcing this whole little brother thing.
Cojack
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If you believe the Senior Leadership of the SEC and it's members were blindsided by this then put on your court Jester hat and join the Sips. It's obvious The slimy Sips asserted their woke influence and offer of higher payouts on the other SEC conference members. Funny how every other SEC conference member can't have another team from their state, but they think A&M should gladly bend over and just accept it. Push for other conference members in state rivals and they would probably change their tune. The SEC President has been smoking @ss crack with the Sips it's a done deal, time to BTHO of the BEVTARDS!
94 Aggie
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Fire Bjork. He was either surprised and did not know what was happening or worse he was willing to sleep with the enemy rather than expose them. Remove all the SEC branding from our uniforms, Kyle Field, etc. Nothing special about the SEC anymore. It's a money grab, we might as well let Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State and Clemson join, too.
greg.w.h
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Bjork is a PR guy. And his first instinct given zero information was a decent instinct. He had already been overruled.
greg.w.h
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I will also note the BoR wasn't apparently told either. Unless informed in executive session. No public record HERE. But can FOIA (or state equivalent) to each public institution in tge SEC.

The fans forced the move to the SEC. And then rewarded the move. This is pure bureaucrat power. And only Sharp behaves like that at Texas A&M.
Emilio Fantastico
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So what I got out of that was we were sold out for a paltry $9 million.

Just pathetic.
OldCorpsTerd86
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Banks and Bjork should write a very strong letter to Hans Brix.

https://giphy.com/gifs/IAa9FtRqdxZYY
Some are born to move the world to live their fantasies - But most of us just dream about the things we'd like to be
Sadder still to watch it die than never to have known it
For you, the blind who once could see... the bell tolls for thee...
Peart/Lifeson/Lee
A&M1994
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Up until 5 days ago, it was "SEC is overrated"....
Now it's "Mind if we join you?"

Unbelievable hypocrisy, then I remind myself we are dealing with diva-queen Texas--where none of that matters, only what's best for them at the moment.
SA68AG
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What a couple of worthless *******.

Lofton wouldn't have rolled over and neither would have Bill Byrne or Woodard.
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