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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)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Texas A&M infielder Ted Burton (27) and catcher Jackson Appel (20) collide during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Friday, May 17, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Razorbacks take Game 2 over Aggies behind solid bullpen performance
Hunter Mitchell, Associate Sports Editor • May 17, 2024

In Thursday’s game against No. 3 Arkansas, it took 11 innings in a historic pitcher’s duel between junior LHP Hagen Smith and sophomore LHP...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

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).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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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

New horizons

Few words over the course of the 2011-12 school year resonated quite as powerfully as Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slives introduction to A&M as the SECs 13th member.
The ecstasy that followed represented the Aggies triumph in a two-year grudge match to free itself from the confines of the Big 12 and the shackles of marketing redundancies.
Arguably, no A&M administrative decision will have quite the seismic impact on the University since women were admitted in the early 60s. And while the thought of admitting women was met with disdain and reluctance by the long-time all-male military institution, the move to the SEC was embraced wholeheartedly by a vast majority of the student body and former students.
The attitude of A&Ms passionate constituency regarding this conference switch shows Aggies have begun to welcome a concept they had been so fearful of before change.
A&M, with its administration, former students and student body, has clearly shown the nation its willingness to rebrand and redefine itself on an unparalleled platform. Century-long rivalries with Texas and Baylor are being scrapped, football coaches are being replaced, facilities are being upgraded and athletic directors, even successful ones, are being questioned.
From a marketing standpoint, the move was a masterstroke of genius. According to the 2011 Nielsen ratings, SEC football had nearly 4.5 million viewers more than one million more viewers than the second-place Big 10 conference and more than two million more viewers than the Big 12. Add the fact the Big 12 just inked a $2.6 billion television deal with ESPN, and theres no telling how much the SEC will make after adding the nations third most populous market to its collection the state of Texas.
Marketing, though, is but the first step. Then there is recruiting.
By offering the greatest level of competition and, by no coincidence, the greatest level of exposure recruits theoretically would be chomping at the bit to play in the SEC. With Texas being one of the nations recruiting hotbeds, A&Ms exclusive offer as an in-state SEC school has and will pay huge dividends. A Rivals top-15 football recruiting class added to a historically strong basketball class is but the tip of the iceberg of A&Ms recruiting potential.
Finally, winning and reestablishing rivalries await. Bear Bryant connections exist with Kentucky and Alabama. Arkansas, a long-time SWC rival, should continue to be a memorable series. Most notably, the LSU rivalry has been on hiatus long enough. Cotton Bowl aside, the Aggies and Tigers havent met on the gridiron since Lectric Leeland McElroy torched LSU in 95 the last regular season game of one of college footballs most heated hole-in-the-wall rivalries.
Without a doubt, its an exciting time to be an Aggie. Welcome to the SEC.
Chandler Smith is a sophomore communication major and sports editor for The Battalion

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