Big 12, A&M announce withdrawal settlement - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Big 12, A&M announce withdrawal settlement

Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics

Release: 02/28/2012





COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M University has reached an agreement with the Big 12 Conference regarding the institution's withdrawal from the league, paving the way for the Aggies' formal transition into the Southeastern Conference effective July 1.
Under the terms of the negotiated settlement announced today by the Big 12 and Texas A&M, the Big 12 will withhold an estimated $12.41 million from Texas A&M's projected distribution for fiscal year 2012. However, the parties agreed that Texas A&M will receive a portion of the benefit received by the Big 12 from the signing of its television contract with Fox Sports, scheduled to commence July 1, 2012, and certain other concessions.
"We appreciate the Big 12 working with us on a quick and amicable settlement," said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin, who indicated that the bottom-line financial impact of the withdrawal settlement will be $9.31 million.
Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas stated, "This agreement was accomplished through a collegial, respectful process among the conference, its institutions, and Texas A&M University that led to a resolution that all parties believe is fair."   
Texas A&M departs the Big 12 as the top overall athletic department in the conference, having led the league and finishing eighth nationally last year in the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors' Cup all-sport rankings. In the inaugural Capital One Cup, which rates teams' final national rankings, the Aggie women finished second nationally a year ago with five top-10 finishes, while the Aggie men finished tied for third with five top-10 finishes. Last year, Texas A&M won national championships in women's basketball, men's and women's outdoor track and field, and western equestrian.
"Texas A&M's move to the SEC increases the university's geographic footprint and will bring national recognition to this great institution, which it certainly deserves," said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. "We look forward to the increased exposure that the SEC will provide Texas A&M, not only in athletics but also in teaching and research."
A founding member of the Big 12 in 1996, Texas A&M has won four conference titles this season to date - women's soccer (tournament), men's and women's indoor track and field, and women's swimming and diving. Last season, the Aggies claimed a record nine Big 12 championships.
"On behalf of Texas A&M and Aggies worldwide, I would like to thank the Big 12 and its member institutions for the many memories over the past 16 years," Loftin said. "We value our ongoing relationships with Big 12 members, and it is our hope to continue many of our longstanding athletic rivalries in the future."
The SEC announced that Texas A&M would become the league's 13th member last September. Fellow Big 12 member Missouri will join the Aggies in the SEC beginning with the 2012-13 athletic season.
"The mission of Texas A&M Athletics is 'Building Champions.' In the last six years, we led the Big 12 with 36 conference championship trophies," said Director of Athletics Bill Byrne. "In the SEC, the challenge of winning conference championships will be even greater, but I am confident that our coaches, athletes and staff are ready for the challenge and that you'll continue to see Texas A&M building champions for many years to come."
Loftin indicated that neither state appropriations nor tuition and fees will be used as part of the financial settlement with the Big 12. Funding will come from athletic reserves and discretionary university funds.

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