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Texas A&M Football

Dr. R. Bowen Loftin details the SEC's gentlemen's agreement & more

July 23, 2021
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Key notes from Dr. R. Bowen Loftin interview

  • I took a vacation at the wrong moment.
     
  • There were two parts to it. One: Among the presidents and the chancellors from the SEC member schools, it was commonly discussed that if Florida State wanted to join, Florida has veto power. If Clemson wants to join, the same thing for South Carolina. If Georgia Tech wants to join, the same thing for Georgia. That’s what I meant by “gentlemen’s agreement.”
     
  • We flew to New Orleans in 2011 when this was coming to a head as Texas A&M joining the SEC progressed. I had regents with me. We met with then-commissioner Mike Slive, the architect of the SEC Network came with us along with other SEC officials. Mike was asked very specifically whether Texas would ever be considered to be a member of the SEC, and the answer was that it would be up to us. Texas A&M would have the ability to say yes or no. That was then, this is now. Mike Slive is no longer the commissioner, and he has also passed away. Almost all of the leadership from the schools are gone from their roles.
     
  • It’s a new world, as it were. As our podcast title goes: Follow the money. This is really about money, and I'm sure we can all understand that. We can see the gears turning among the SEC and ESPN people.
     
  • Going back more than 10 years, I became aware of a six-month or longer effort between Larry Scott, the Pac-10 and DeLoss Dodds about Texas and other schools going with them to the west coast. That was done without other schools being talked about. Larry Scott showed me a complete schedule for all sports for a 16-team conference. It had been going on for months and months without us knowing it.
     
  • I feel betrayed here because we thought we would be treated equally. We thought we would all be at the table. If this has happened without that, this represents a fundamental shift in the culture of the Southeastern Conference.
     
  • I think this has to be driven by ESPN. They're trying to cut their losses with LHN, which has been an issue for a while. They're trying to capitalize on the CBS situation with the SEC.
     
  • This could be the beginning of another realignment of a much larger magnitude than what we saw in 2011. How can the Big Ten sit and not do anything? The Pac-12 will do the same. The Big 12 will essentially become an empty suit. We're not talking about a Power 5 but a Power 4. This isn't just about Texas or Texas A&M but a fundamental shift of college sports.
     
  • I cannot judge this. Kirk Bohls thinks this is a done deal. I think our president Dr. Banks has to be strong about this and talk to every single president and chancellor about how they won't want this to be happening to them someday. Can South Carolina say no to Clemson if this goes forward? I don't think so.
     
  • Back in the day, we wanted to be in the SEC because we fit. Everybody was treated the same there. All of a sudden, the rules are changing erratically.
     
  • This could go larger. When we were talking to Slive and the other SEC leadership, they were talking about the East because they thought the West was shored up with. North Carolina was a hot topic for a while. Virginia and Virginia Tech were discussed a decade ago. This was a surprise for me, but I understand it. I get the money. There is a sense of geography and fit.
     
  • Oklahoma is a fit for the SEC. However, Texas? They have never thought of themselves as that kind of school. They've felt they were above that.
     
  • Passing laws is not what this is about. It takes too long and is the wrong thing to try and meddle at that level. Look at the 1990s. The governor was clear that A&M was not going to be allowed to go to the SEC. They thought they were going to doom us financially. In 2010, we shut everything down when a phone call was made to Texas and Texas A&M leadership when we were told not to do this. Next year is an election year. Does Greg Abbott really want to tick off the Aggies, Bears, Horned Frogs or Red Raiders? That's a very tough primary to win. What changed between 2010 and 2011 was the Longhorn Network, and the governor's primary was already behind him, so he felt much more comfortable.
Discussion from...

Dr. R. Bowen Loftin details the SEC's gentlemen's agreement & more

45,896 Views | 33 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by A is A
Bogey1996
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Bring on Clemson and FSU, make it a super conference, who says no?
SEC Champs
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AG
The SEC would be wise to protect their culture and heritage from outside influence. OU may somewhat be a cultural fit for the SEC, but t.u needs to look west. They will force the SEC to adopt their progressive standards and divide the conference. They will also demand a seat at the head of the table.
ChemEAg08
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AG
SEC Champs said:

The SEC would be wise to protect their culture and heritage from outside influence. OU may somewhat be a cultural fit for the SEC, but t.u needs to look west. They will force the SEC to adopt their progressive standards and divide the conference. They will also demand a seat at the head of the table.


The SEC thinks they are stronger than Texas's ability to destroy things. Me thinks their underestimating.
SA68AG
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AG
Mike Slive would not allow this to happen.

The current SEC commissioner is a snake.
ElPasoAg01
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Letting the sips and OU in is a dumb move by all of the SEC contenders. It allows them to improve their recruiting immediately and brings in no new recruiting territory and negligible viewership. The move has to be to expand into NC and VA adding 20,000,000 sets of eyeballs by adding VA Tech and NC State.
2thFixinAg
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Disagree about South Carolina Georgia or Florida worrying about the in state thing.

Conference will be full at 16. They are actually protecting themselves against that very same thing by voting yes.
Agvet12
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AG
2thFixinAg said:

Disagree about South Carolina Georgia or Florida worrying about the in state thing.

Conference will be full at 16. They are actually protecting themselves against that very same thing by voting yes.


It won't though, 10 years or less we'll be talking about expansion again
Fitzwilly
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AG
I don't care what else was planned, you should have kept that interview going. Who else is gonna give you better audio than that man??
fieldtrailer
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AG
Get on board with it, because it's going to happen. The SEC will learn the hard way. We know what to expect. So get out in front of this and figure out how to lead and control it. It can work. Especially if tu and A&M work together off the field. They have maj of money. A&M has no SEC allies, not enough to get votes. But with tx they can control conf. Be the end of SEC, similar to Nebraska and b8.

I would like to see hq moved to Dallas. Alternate sites for tourneys and champuonship games. No more Hooterville for baseball. Get rid of Sankey. Put LSU in NCAA jail. End the run of OU ( tx would be on board with this) and Bama. All are possibilities.
But you have to get in front of it and prepare. Stop the public complaining.
One big issue to this ( with respect to Loftin) is we don't have a good leader. Need a Woodward type as AD. Not sure about our Pres. Don't know enough about her. But being new to role has to hinder her in this.
It won't happen for a few year
Based on b12, we know if we don't try to get in that group that leads, just going to have to accept decisions that are made.
Artorias
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AG
"Gentlemen's Agreements" don't mean jack ***** Money talks. Get **** in ironclad writing contract form, or get ****ed.

Agsrback12
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Man, bow tie, turns out was an idiot and only provided a tease of what could have been.
Houstonag
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I do not support this move at all. The sips are hurting and they will only dilute TAMU in Texas. They will only poison the conference and so will OU. They are both dishonest programs. I hope our leadership from the AD, Banks, and Sharp to just simply say no. Do not try to make this look good. If we get voted down, so what. Take a stand.
LatinAggie1997
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Is that difficult to get enough schools to day fduck NO to tu???

Grief!!!!


The SEC is actually injecting a cancer into healthy cells.....unbelievable.
Agsuffering@bulaw
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The SEC had always been a collegial conference. That is about to change. The small and midsized programs are shortsighted fools for not contemplating what that means.

IF everything is about money, then programs like the Mississippis, Mizzou, Vandy, maybe even SC if replaced with Clemson; could eventually be ejected. None of them pull their weight. This is what happens with cannabilism. We saw it in the BDF.

Even dumber is that making a change invites the law of unforseen consequences b/c it injects uncertainty. The SEC would have still been the best conference even had tu and ou gone to the ACC. Now, the SEC move risks shaking up the landscape. What do the others do now that the gap between their money and the SEC is even wider? They will eventually do something.

This is a fail all the way around. Sankey is an ambitious little punk first and steward of the SEC second.
AggieBoiler
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Didn't someone recently virtue signal that the conference needs more diversity? Maybe they should step aside and and make an opportunity?
TAMU74
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AG
So are we to consider this a done deal?
I don't see how that can be the case anytime soon. I posted this on another thread that there is going to be numerous lawsuits regarding this matter.
The other TX schools in the B12 are not going to sit idly by and let that conference implode.
Also, I've always heard that Ou ain't going anywhere w/o osu per the OK legislature. Is that no longer the case?
ham98
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The Gentlemen who made the agreement are all dead or retired. There is no agreement anymore
mortal
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AG
This has bigger ramifications than just two more schools in the SEC. The scheduling dynamics change.. The conference can't stay with two eight team divisions because that would push the schedule to 9 or 10 conference games/series in football, soccer, softball, baseball, etc.

The SEC will go to four four-team divisions, where you play your own division every year and one other division every three years. We are now going to a division that will be these two new teams, along with Mizzou or maybe Arkansas. Welcome back to the old conference. Kyle Field hosts Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Florida and all the others once every six years. A student-athlete plays half of the SEC only once in their entire career.
Buford T. Justice
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This is the beginning of the end of times for collegiate athletics as we presently know them to be. This money grab is something that would have gone on in Sodom and Gomorrah
mward1986
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Oh hell no. Letting t.u. into the SEC would be a huge mistake.

The Sips destroyed the Big 12 with the Longhorn Network debacle. Let the Horns own its mistake. Stay away from us.
dixichkn
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AG
I listened to the entire interview with Dr Loftin while driving back home this evening. And it was all I could do not to just stop the car and applaud that man. EVERY SINGLE THING he said was spot on. You nailed it, Bowtie.

I don't think we appreciated Mike Slive as much as we should have while he was still around. Because the backstabbing SOB who replaced him deserves absolutely none.
aaaggie
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Quote:

I think this has to be driven by ESPN.
ESPN and the SEC signed a new 10 year TV rights deal in December. According to reports the SEC and t.u./OU negotiations started precisely at that same time. Clearly ESPN didn't want to get in a bidding war with Fox in 2024 for Big 12 TV rights so they decided to cherry pick the best two teams for inclusion into their new long term contract. This also deals a significant blow to ESPN's competitors at Fox and CBS by greatly diminishing or perhaps even dissolving a conference where the TV rights will be up for sale within the next few years.

I hope there is an antitrust investigation into possible collusion by Disney/ESPN with the SEC. Inside reports claim this backroom deal is imminent after being made public only for a few days. The remaining Big 12 teams, who stand to lose tens of millions of dollars in current and future TV revenue, are in complete shock with no recourse. At the very least the NCAA should make an inquiry into ESPN's potential tampering with t.u/OU and the SEC and transparently disclose all aspects of the negotiation and deal. This would be in the best interest of all of its collegiate members.
northeastag
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AG
Lesson learned. When making Gentlemen's Agreements, always make sure you're actually dealing with Gentlemen.

Apparently, no Gentleman left among the other SEC schools. You can't blame this completely on the head of the SEC, you have to hold the rest of the schools accountable.
Emilio Fantastico
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Houstonag said:

I do not support this move at all. The sips are hurting and they will only dilute TAMU in Texas. They will only poison the conference and so will OU. They are both dishonest programs. I hope our leadership from the AD, Banks, and Sharp to just simply say no. Do not try to make this look good. If we get voted down, so what. Take a stand.

This! No more playing nice and trying to put up a good appearance. The SEC went behind our backs and ****ed us over royally.
When the vote comes up, our rep should yell out "**** NO!!!"
Rebel Yell
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Artorias said:

"Gentlemen's Agreements" don't mean jack ***** Money talks. Get **** in ironclad writing contract form, or get ****ed.




While I agree with you.

If they want to break the agreement, the agreement will be broken whether in writing or not.
“I don’t even sit on the left side of church”
klgiese9
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We should vote and at the last minute get OU and OKIE state. Again the state of Oklahoma may not allow OU to leave without them as was the discussion 10 years ago.
Gip76
bamaoldtimer
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Ok, we underestimate tu. If you're so wise about tu, then should you and your lawyers not know by now how to deal with them? We look forward too your lawyers working with our lawyers. Alabama has some really good snake lawyers too. We don't have your money but after several billion how much do you really need? You have as much money and prestige as tu. Me thinks you all have severe BAS ! You think your disease can dictate to Mr. Sankey? Loftin accepted a handshake? I'm retired and never did a big job without a contract! I hope the cooler heads in College Station prevail because you will unwittingly by your current demeanor ostracize yourself from many SEC brethren who currently are on your side. As I've said in other threads, I'm a fan, fans rant on message boards. Like I can do anything huh!
Picadillo
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This is a 100 year decision but in the opposite direction
A&M1994
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AG
bamaoldtimer said:

Ok, we underestimate tu. If you're so wise about tu, then should you and your lawyers not know by now how to deal with them? We look forward too your lawyers working with our lawyers. Alabama has some really good snake lawyers too. We don't have your money but after several billion how much do you really need? You have as much money and prestige as tu. Me thinks you all have severe BAS ! You think your disease can dictate to Mr. Sankey? Loftin accepted a handshake? I'm retired and never did a big job without a contract! I hope the cooler heads in College Station prevail because you will unwittingly by your current demeanor ostracize yourself from many SEC brethren who currently are on your side. As I've said in other threads, I'm a fan, fans rant on message boards. Like I can do anything huh!
Wait, our "demeanor" looks bad to you? Should we be happy that our crazed diva homewrecking ex is stalking us? How would Florida feel if Miami or Florida State did this? Would their "current demeanor ostracize them from many SEC brethren"? Give it a rest, you have no idea what you are talking about.
A&M1994
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northeastag said:

Lesson learned. When making Gentlemen's Agreements, always make sure you're actually dealing with Gentlemen.

Apparently, no Gentleman left among the other SEC schools. You can't blame this completely on the head of the SEC, you have to hold the rest of the schools accountable.
Interesting, I remember Florida nixing the idea of adding Florida State in the 1990s. When Miami or FSU are about to be added down the road, they will squirm and whine at least as much.
philevans
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money money money always talks more forcefully than a gentlemen's agreement .
TXlic GIGM61
jaegermeister122
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QUESTION for all fans and SEC members: How much money is it worth to you to allow the disloyal, dishonest, egocentric, narcissistic snake of a Texas Longhorn under your front door???
A is A
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AG

a lot to unpack here....

Quote:

Ok, we underestimate tu. If you're so wise about tu, then should you and your lawyers not know by now how to deal with them?
we have done a number on them - see any threads regarding LHN and reducing their UIL rights.

Quote:

Me thinks you all have severe BAS !
where do you think this derives from? hint: tu.

Quote:

You think your disease can dictate to Mr. Sankey?
what does this mean?

Quote:

I hope the cooler heads in College Station prevail
prevail as in bending over? or preventing tu from joining? Because for most Ags, previal is the latter.

Quote:

because you will unwittingly by your current demeanor ostracize yourself from many SEC brethren who currently are on your side.
If the "SEC brethren" who are currently "on our side" do not vote no, were they ever on our side? or money's side?



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