Big 12 Remains, Promises Double Revenue Offered By Other Conferences

In an e-mail sent by the Texas A&M president to A&M students Monday, Dr. R. Bowen Loftin detailed the decision process that the University went through to decide to ultimately stay in the Big 12 Conference and not move to the Pac-10 or SEC. Loftin said the geographic fit and financial value were two of the deciding factors.

“There were also many other factors considered, including maintaining Texas A&M’s strong foothold in the State of Texas and preserving our natural athletic rivalries, many of which date back more than 100 years. And, ultimately, by remaining a member of the Big 12, we were able to more than double our financial return to the levels being offered by other conferences.”

The SEC has equal revenue sharing, which gives each team about $11 million annually. The newly realigned Big 12 will have an unequal revenue plan, which means the smaller universities won’t get the same cut of the conference’s profits. The big guns of the Big 12 like Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M could double their TV revenue to $14 to $17 million annually.
The 10-team Big 12 will play nine conference football games and will not have a conference championship game.

Here is the e-mail in its entirety:

June 14, 2010

To The Aggie Family:

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of speculation as Texas A&M University and several other institutions in the Big 12 Conference evaluated our athletic affiliations. At the end of the day, 10 of the 12 schools in the Big 12 – including Texas A&M – have determined that the conference was definitely worth saving due to our collective strengths in academics, national competitiveness, geographic fit and overall financial value.

Throughout the conference evaluation process, I was encouraged by something that I already knew –Texas A&M is incredibly strong and the passion of our current and former students, as well as our faculty and staff, is unmatched anywhere. As evidence, I have been overwhelmed by thousands of emails, phone calls and Facebook posts from Aggies in support of any of the three options we were considering – remaining in the Big 12, or joining the Southeastern Conference or Pac-10 Conference.

Let me be clear: This decision was made in the best interests of Texas A&M and was not made in haste. As I mentioned to the Faculty Senate Monday afternoon, our top consideration was the demands placed on our student-athletes, in terms of academics, time away from the classroom, and the overall level of competition. There were also many other factors considered, including maintaining Texas A&M’s strong foothold in the State of Texas and preserving our natural athletic rivalries, many of which date back more than 100 years. And, ultimately, by remaining a member of the Big 12, we were able to more than double our financial return to the levels being offered by other conferences.

I understand that some Aggies are disappointed, but I am confident this decision will serve Texas A&M well in the years to come. As Athletic Director Bill Byrne and I stated numerous times throughout this process, our hope and desire was for the Big 12 to continue. And we both agree that this is an exciting, new day for our league.

I appreciate all of your feedback and thoughts on this important issue. As Aggies, I know that you will rally around our Texas A&M student-athletes as they train over the summer and begin Big 12 competition this fall.

Thanks again, and Gig ’Em!

Dr. R. Bowen Loftin ’71
President

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