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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Scenes from 74
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Careful what you wish for

Photo by Abbey Santoro

The Southeastern Conference is heading towards the path of expansion with the University of Texas as well as the University of Oklahoma expressing interest in joining the conference. 

It’s official.
After days of speculation, The University of Texas and The University of Oklahoma have taken the first steps toward leaving the Big 12 and officially joining the Southeastern Conference.
“The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference [on July 26] that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025,” a joint statement from the University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma read.
Based on the statement, it seems that UT and OU will be joining the SEC after the 2024-25 athletics season, following the expiration of their grant of television rights.
“Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference’s current media rights agreement,” the statement continued. “The universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements. However, both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how to best position their athletics programs for the future.”
Speculation on the matter was first made public on Wednesday, July 21, by Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle.
“Texas and Oklahoma of the Big 12 have reached out to the Southeastern Conference about joining the powerful league, a high-ranking college official with knowledge of the situation told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday,” Zwerneman wrote.
Following the article, social media erupted. Sooners, Longhorns and Aggies alike expressed their opinions on the potential conference growth. Critics include senior defensive back Leon O’Neal Jr., who accused UT of trying to copy Texas A&M.
“They do everything we do they wanna be us,” O’Neal tweeted.
Additionally, rumors swirled that this decision has been in the works with SEC leadership and the two schools for months. The Austin American-Statesman reported on Friday, July 23, that a Big 12 source believed talks between the SEC and the two schools had been ongoing for over six months, with A&M leadership being left out of the conversation.
Furthermore, theories on the potential SEC expansion were at its peak during the 2021 SEC Media Days, with many coaches and conference representatives refusing to comment on the matter. In no coincidence, the day the speculation erupted, July 21, was A&M’s day at the week-long conference
A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher shared his thoughts on the two teams potentially joining the SEC. The 2021 Orange Bowl Championship coach said he is remaining focused on his top priority — the Aggies and the Aggies alone.
“I bet they would [like to join],” Fisher said at this year’s SEC Media Days. “I’m just worried about Texas A&M. We got the greatest league in ball. I’ll control what I want to control here.”
Fisher has not been the only Aggie official to publicly comment on the matter.
A&M Director of Athletics Ross Bjork said he wants Texas A&M to be the only Texas school allowed to participate in SEC play.
“We want to be the only SEC program in the state of Texas,” Bjork said. “There’s a reason Texas A&M left the Big 12 — to stand alone to have our own identity.”
The joint statement from The University of Texas and The University of Oklahoma is the most recent public comment made by either school on the matter.
“Be careful what you ask for if you jump in this league,” Fisher said.

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