Saturday, August 13, 2011

Aggies to SECede: As done as a deal can be

Wow, that happened fast. If there was any doubt left that the Texas A&M Board of Regents would vote to move Texas A&M athletics from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference during their hastily-scheduled conference call on Monday, this email that popped up in my in-box this morning from the Association of Former Students pretty much laid them to rest. If the university is mobilizing a political phone campaign to counteract protests by Baylor, Tech and anyone else who doesn't want this to happen (University of Houston, aka Cougar High alumni are probably the only people in the state in A&M's corner this time) then you know they're going to the mat on this one. Here's the letter:
August 13, 2011

Howdy, Ags!

Today, as always, Texas A&M University is fortunate to have a University president at our helm who firmly places the best interests of Texas A&M as the top priority in any decisions he makes. In our discussions with Dr. R. Bowen Loftin '71, we often ask him how The Association of Former Students and the Aggie Network can help him and help Texas A&M.

As you may be aware, reports have circulated that Texas A&M is contemplating a change in athletic conferences. This has generated much speculation across the Aggie Network and among alumni of schools that could be impacted by our possible change of conferences. It is our understanding that some of these alumni have begun to exert influence on their elected officials to take interceding action.

While these individuals are certainly entitled to voice their opinions to their elected officials, so too are Aggies. The decision on Texas A&M's conference alignment - or any decision impacting our University's future - is one that should be made by our University leaders. If Aggies, too, will engage their elected officials and ask them to consider Texas A&M's need to do what is right and best for our school and our future, our President and other University leaders can focus solely on the best interests of Texas A&M today and tomorrow.

Opportunities abound for Texas A&M, and our University leaders need the latitude to explore and pursue avenues that will be to our benefit. We should be free to chart our own course without the influence of those who may not have our best interest at heart. If you agree, I hope you will reach out to your elected State of Texas officials and respectfully encourage them to let Texas A&M guide Texas A&M's future.

The Association of Former Students is committed to promoting the interests and welfare of Texas A&M. Earlier this week we shared a video of a recent panel discussion on the future of higher education. Throughout the discussion our panelists expressed the importance of allowing the leadership at Texas A&M to make decisions without outside influence. We believe that to be true in all circumstances.

Thank you for your support of Texas A&M. We ask that you join The Association and our friends at the 12th Man Foundation in supporting Texas A&M President Dr. R. Bowen Loftin ’71 as he determines what is best for our great University.


Porter S. Garner III '79
President and CEO

Jorge A. Bermudez '73
2011 Chair of the Board
The Association of Former Students
Now Playing: The Kinks Come Dancing
Chicken Ranch Central


  1. OOOOOhhhhh, goodbye to Texas University, . . .

  2. I sent this response to Porter:


    Unfortunately, should A&M head to the SEC, I am likely to discontinue all of my support for the University. The willingness of the administration to have the student body associate with other schools that have treated us so poorly on a personal level when we visited them and when they visited us is very disheartening.

    The university is free to do what they want, as am I.

    My Aggie Ring will stay on the shelf and not on my finger. My money will stay in my pocket and not in your coffers.

    Scott Zrubek

  3. I was against the move last year, Scott, but I've gradually changed my mind over the ensuing 12 months. Big 12 is a dead conference walking. It exists in its current form now solely to enrich Texas and make Dodds more money. The fact that Dan Beebe is saying UH can serve as a suitable replacement for A&M underscores that fact. It's not about competition or equity or sportsmanship or any of that, it's about giving the Longhorns a clear shot at the national championship/playoffs every year in every sport. If they were genuinely concerned about the league continuing as a viable entity, they wouldn't have repeatedly blocked a Big 12 network deal in order to launch their own.

    Honestly, I was more troubled by the breakup of the SWC than the Big 12. Once Nebraska jumped ship, the end result was inevitable.