Sunday, August 14, 2011

Twist of Events

I read an article from Sporting News this morning that said, "Presidents from the SEC will not meet on Sunday to discuss the possible move of Texas A&M to the SEC, a high-ranking official from the SEC told Sporting News on Saturday."

After I read that I thought, "Wow, this guy has a horrible source. The presidents are meeting - their planes have already been tracked to Atlanta."

After that I read close to 4,000 articles, tweets and message board posts and didn't think anything else about the Sporting News article.

Then the bombshell in the early afternoon.....The press release from the SEC:

“The SEC Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment. We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league. We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion. No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”

I was sick to my stomach. Thankfully I was already sitting down.

After my vision came back to me I re-read the presser two or three more times. Shoot, I read it about 10 times. I thought it was good that they worded it, "No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M." They could have said, "We voted against admitting Texas A&M". It could have been worse - maybe?

Still, I couldn't imagine that we have been in conversations with Mike Slive (SEC Commish) for three weeks (as reported) and didn't have assurances that this was going to go through before making our bold move/announcement at the end of the work week. Not unless we just got totally screwed over.

What I couldn't get my head around was if this was some sort of vaguely written statement, then why did it start out with: "The SEC Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment"? That I didn't get. If there is really a chance for us then why would you say that you're happy with 12 teams?

I fought with that until my law degree bearing wife, who graciously listened to me rant and rave and read the press release aloud over and over, mentioned that they need to make sure they have as much documented evidence as possible showing it was A&M that came to them, not them coming to poach us from the Big 12.

Ok, I can breathe again.

Shortly after that I saw Sporting News's Matt Hayes tweet: Source on "meeting" today: Conf call/w SEC attorneys and Machen. Released legal statement to protect the league.

I had read something a day or two ago about potential "tortious interference" from the legal side but I just brushed past it. Apparently, the SEC lawyers didn't and they know what they're doing - us sports fans just blow past words we don't understand.

So the A&M Board of Regents are still scheduled to meet tomorrow and are apparently going to give President Loftin the power to negotiate a new conference affiliation. The state legislature is still scheduled to meet on Tuesday and we're going to go from there. I imagine it will involve an application to the SEC (and likely other conferences) and at that point the SEC presidents will get together and actually vote.

So we didn't get the good news we wanted today, and there is still a small part of my stomach that is in knots, but I believe that the press release was a CYA move by the SEC. I'm sure tomorrow we'll find out some other new twist in the plot that we hadn't considered/realized was a possibility....and it will add to our anxiety.

Either way, the Sporting News article that I thought was completely bogus was the only one that actually knew what the heck was going on.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go pop a handful of Xanax.

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