Why is Texas A&M Joining the SEC?

Texas A&M’s move to the Southeastern Conference has been called a 100-year decision, and on July 1, 2012, this decision will officially mark the beginning of another chapter in Texas A&M’s history.

The Road To The SEC

The process for making this monumental decision began in late spring 2010 after the departure of the University of Nebraska and the University of Colorado from the Big 12 Conference. When issues arose in 2011 that further undermined the stability of the Big 12, Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin resumed internal discussions about conference alignment, leading to a phone call to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive on July 21.

On Aug. 25, Texas A&M officially notified the Big 12 Conference that it was exploring options related to the institution’s athletic conference affiliation.  Less than a week later on Aug. 31, Texas A&M notified the Big 12 that it would submit an application to join another athletic conference. Texas A&M’s application letter was received by the SEC on Sept. 5, and on Sept. 25, the SEC presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to unconditionally accept the Aggies as the 13th member of the storied conference.  The university formally celebrated its new conference affiliation on campus on Sept. 26.

Why The SEC Is The Best Choice For Texas A&M

As a member of the SEC, Texas A&M will have national visibility, greater financial opportunity and conference stability. And, culturally, it’s a great fit.

The SEC is the most widely broadcast conference, providing an opportunity to raise Texas A&M’s national profile now and into the future.  Geographically, the SEC has 21 of the top 65 designated media markets, allowing Texas A&M to expand its brand to a national level. In the SEC, nearly all Aggie football games will be broadcast nationally via CBS or ESPN, and other varsity sports will have increased visibility as well.

In addition to projected conference distributions, Texas A&M envisions enhanced future revenues from sponsorships, ticket sales and collegiate licensing.  Since Texas A&M announced its move to the SEC, licensing revenues have increased by 27 percent, compared to an average growth of 7 percent by our peer institutions.

The SEC is the dominant player in collegiate athletics and should shape the national landscape well into the future. Like Texas A&M, 10 of the soon-to-be 14 member conference owe their origins to the Morrill Act of 1862, which revolutionized higher education through the creation of land-grant universities.  And, like Texas A&M, SEC members have achieved national and international academic prominence. For example, three universities – Vanderbilt University, the University of Florida and the University of Missouri – are members, with Texas A&M, in the elite Association of American Universities, which has just 61 members in the United States and Canada.

Our counterparts in the SEC are much like Texas A&M in other fundamental ways as well:  they celebrate their rich histories and perpetuate their unique traditions, they are passionate on the playing field and in the stands, and they are united in their commitment to instilling core values that will prepare future generations of leaders for our nation and world.