The SEC officially voted to accept Texas A&M into its conference on Wednesday, but can't officially accept the school until a fellow Big 12 school drops a lawsuit against the conference.
The school -- believed to be Baylor -- told the SEC it was considering legal action if it accepted Texas A&M as a conference school, despite previous assurances from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe that no one in the conference would pursue legal action against the SEC.
Below is the conference's official statement on its unofficial acceptance of Texas A&M, including the letter sent by Beebe telling the SEC it didn't have to worry about any lawsuits from Big 12 member schools.
Statement from Dr. Bernie Machen, Chair, Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors:
After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on Sept. 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC. We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action. The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated Sept. 2.
And here is the letter sent by Beebe to SEC commissioner Mike Slive:
This is to confirm our discussion yesterday during which I informed you that the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors unanimously authorized me to convey to you and their colleagues in the Southeastern Conference that the Big 12 and its members will not take any legal action for any possible claims against the SEC or its members relating to the departure of Texas A&M University from the Big 12 and the admission of Texas A&M into the SEC; provided, however, that such act by the SEC to admit Texas A&M is publicly confirmed by 5:00 p.m. CDT on Sept. 8.
Such admission of Texas A&M will result in the withdrawal of Texas A&M from the Big 12 Conference effective June 30, 2012. We both agreed it is in the best interests of each of our conferences and our member institutions of higher education to waive any and all legal actions by either conference and its members resulting from admission of Texas A&M into the SEC, as long as such admission is confirmed publicly by Sept. 8.
If any of your presidents and chancellors have concerns about this commitment of the Big 12
Conference, they may contact me or Brady Deaton, Big 12 Board of Director chairman and chancellor of the University of Missouri, Columbia.