COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M could leave the Big 12 by the end of the week, with university president R. Bowen Loftin suggesting Saturday there was nothing the conference could do to stop the departure, The New York Times reported, citing sources.
Loftin made the comments in a conference call with the Big 12's university presidents, said the source, who had first-hand knowledge of the call.
The words "amicable divorce" were reportedly used by a number of presidents on the call.
Texas A&M had taken another step toward a move to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) on Thursday, formally notifying the Big 12 that the university was exploring its options with regard to its conference affiliation.
"As I have indicated previously, we are working very deliberately to act in the best long-term interests of both Texas A&M and the State of Texas. This truly is a 100-year decision," Loftin wrote in a letter to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe.
"Ultimately, we are seeking to generate greater visibility nationwide for Texas A&M and our championship-caliber student-athletes, as well as secure the necessary and stable financial resources to support our athletic and academic programs."
Reports surfaced on Aug. 13 that A&M had decided to leave the Big 12 to become the SEC's 13th member. Two days later, the university's Board of Regents granted Loftin permission to negotiate a move out of the Big 12.