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Report Says Texas A&M Is Leaving The Big 12

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COLLEGE STATION (AP/CBSDFW.COM) - The New York Times is reporting that Texas A&M has notified the Big 12 that it will withdraw from the conference, however, a statement from university spokesman Jason Cook refutes that story.

The newspaper reported, on its website on Monday night, that Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin sent a letter to Missouri Chancellor and Big 12 board chairman Brady Deaton to inform the league that the university was leaving. The New York Times story cited two unidentified college officials with direct knowledge of the decision.

Texas A&M said earlier on Monday that it had received a letter from Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe outlining the withdrawal procedure should the Aggies decide to leave the league. Notably, the school would have to pay an exit fee which is expected to be close to $15 million. Last week, Texas A&M formally told Beebe that they are exploring their options.

If the Aggies do leave, they would most likely head to the Southeastern Conference, which would then also require approval from nine of the 12 SEC presidents. That move would most likely take place next school year.

Texas A&M’s departure would cast doubt on the future of the Big 12, and could lead to more major changes to college athletics. The University of Nebraska and the University of Colorado already left the Big 12 in July. The Big 12 would be looking for another school to join the conference if this Texas A&M deal is actually made.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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