The SEC has announced that they have accepted the Texas A&M Aggies as their 13th member beginning in the 2012 season.
Texas A&M is only the third school to be accepted into the SEC since its inception in 1932. Arkansas and South Carolina were added back in 1991.
Three schools have left the SEC in the past. Sewanee, Georgia Tech and Tulane were each founding members, but left the conference in 1940, 1964 and 1966 respectively.
Slive did not announce what division Texas A&M will be placed in. But as the team farthest West, the Aggies will more than likely join the Western Division.
The Aggies leave behind the Big 12, a conference they have competed in since it began in 1996. Prior to that, A&M was a member of the Southwest Conference from 1915 to 1995. Texas A&M has won one national championship (1939), 17 SWC Championships and one Big 12 Championship (1998).
From the SEC release:
The Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors, acting unanimously, announced today that Texas A&M University will join the Southeastern Conference effective July 1, 2012, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2012-13 academic year.
The addition of Texas A&M will increase the SEC membership to 13 institutions. It is the first expansion for the SEC since September of 1991 when the University of South Carolina joined the league. The University of Arkansas joined the SEC in August of 1991. With the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina, the SEC was the first conference to split into divisions and add a conference championship game in 1992.
“The Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family,” said Dr. Bernie Machen, chair of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors and president of the University of Florida. “The addition of Texas A&M University as the SEC’s 13th member gives our league a prestigious academic institution with a strong athletic tradition and a culture similar to our current institutions.”
“The Southeastern Conference provides Texas A&M the national visibility that our great university and our student-athletes deserve,” said Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin. “We are excited to begin competition in the nation’s premier athletic conference. This is a 100-year decision that we have addressed carefully and methodically, and I believe the Southeastern Conference gives the Aggies the best situation of any conference in the country.”