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September 7, 2011

A&M acceptance to SEC contingent on waiver of litigation

4:20 PM - Baylor may not be the only one wanting to retain its right to sue the SEC over the departure of Texas A&M, a Big 12 administrator tells Orangebloods.com.

Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa State also want to retain their right to sue, the administrator said.

Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Missouri have apparently retained their right to sue but have vowed they won't take any action against the SEC, the administrator said.

The only Big 12 school willing to sign a waiver releasing the SEC from litigation appears to be Oklahoma, which has indicated it might soon be ready to bolt for the Pac-12, the administrator said.

A statement summarizing a noon conference call with Big 12 presidents should be forthcoming shortly, the source said.

11:45 AM - All 10 members of the Big 12 will be on a conference call at noon today.

I'm being told Baylor has no intention of agreeing to sign a waiver releasing the Southeastern Conference from potential litigation over its relationship with Texas A&M.

Baylor may even be trying to rally schools from the Big 12 to its side, such as Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State, sources said.


10 AM - Was just told by two Big 12 administrators the SEC now wants all nine schools in the Big 12 to sign a waiver saying they will not sue the Southeastern Conference over the depature of Texas A&M to the SEC because of Baylor's actions.

And I'm told not every Big 12 schools will agree not to sue the SEC.

Texas A&M has confirmed to Orangebloods.com that a celebration planned for today in College Station to announce Texas A&M as the 13th member has been postponed indefinitely until the threat of litigation can be resolved.

"At this time, we do not intend on making an announcement today," said A&M spokesman Jason Cook. "But the situation is extremely fluid."

Things could get sticky because a letter on Sept. 2 from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe to SEC commissioner Mike Slive said that the Big 12 would waive the right to any litigation against the SEC as long as he Aggies were members of the SEC by 5 p.m. on Sept. 8 (Thursday).

Beebe sent a letter back to Slive on Tuesday saying the waiver in that Sept. 2 letter applied only to the Big 12 Conference and was not binding to the Big 12's member schools.

The SEC was contacted on Tuesday by lawyers representing Baylor that BU did not intend to waive its right to sue the SEC, sources said.

The SEC then admitted Texas A&M as the 13th member of the conference contingent upon the SEC being released from any legal liability by the nine member schools in the Big 12.

And I'm being told there's no way all the schools will sign such a waiver.

Stay tuned.

8:30 AM - Here is the statement issued by Florida president Bernie Machen, chair of the Southeastern Conference presidents and chancellors board, on Texas A&M's (contingent) acceptance into the SEC:


"After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC.

"We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action.

"The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011."

6:15 AM WEDNESDAY - Multiple sources say Baylor is the school the SEC is most concerned about when it comes to the threat of a lawsuit. One source said Baylor is seriously considering a lawsuit against the SEC alleging the acquisition of Texas A&M would set off a domino effect in realignment that would result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to schools across the country.

The source also said Baylor would consider a lawsuit against Mike Slive personally.

Obviously, the SEC is taking this seriously because the presidents in that league made their vote to admit Texas A&M contingent on the individual member schools in the Big 12 signing a waiver not to sue the SEC.



12:15 AM WEDNESDAY - Hold everything folks.

The Southeastern Conference presidents met Tuesday night and voted to admit Texas A&M. But the vote came with a stipulation that still must be worked out.

The SEC presidents voted to admit Texas A&M as the 13th member of that league so long as each individual member of the Big 12 waives its right to litigation against the SEC.

And it was unclear Tuesday night if all nine remaining members of the Big 12 would waive that right, sources said. The Big 12 schools were expected to discuss the matter on Wednesday, sources said. That's the same day Texas A&M has planned a celebration in College Station to announce its admission into the SEC, sources said.

If even one of the Big 12 schools refuse to waive their right to sue the SEC over its courtship of Texas A&M, the SEC could withdraw its vote to admit A&M, sources said.

After letters were exchanged by SEC commissioner Mike Slive and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe Tuesday, Beebe told Slive the Big 12 conference office had waived its right to litigate against Texas A&M or the SEC but that the Big 12's waiver was not binding on the individual members of the Big 12, sources said.

The SEC indicated it would admit Texas A&M only upon condition that each individual member of the Big 12 waive its right to sue the SEC, sources said.

And that condition was in doubt Tuesday night, sources said.

Stay tuned.




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