WACO (August 15, 2011)—As Texas A&M Regents met Monday to authorize the school’s president to move the Aggies out of the Big 12 Conference, economist Dr. Ray Perryman released an analysis that concludes that if A&M were to leave, the state would lose 3,050 jobs and $217.2 million in output each year, even if the rest of the conference remains intact.
The Aggies’ departure would reduce state fiscal revenue by $28.2 million a year and losses to local governments would total $13.1 million, Perryman estimated.
A&M’s Board of Regents voted Monday to give Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin the authority to take any action he deems necessary regarding conference alignment.
The move comes amid speculation the Aggies want to leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference, which reaffirmed its 12-school alignment Sunday, but left the door open for expansion.
The vote came soon after the chairman of the Texas House Committee on Higher Education, state Rep. Dan Branch, indefinitely postponed a legislative hearing on A&M’s possible move.
Loftin said Monday there is still a chance the Aggies will stay in the Big 12.
He said A&M is looking only at the Southeastern Conference right now, but didn't rule out other possibilities.
Loftin says any realignment by Texas A&M would take place after a "lengthy' process.
If A&M leaves the Big 12 and the conference dissolves because of other realignments, losses in total spending could top $1 billion, 8,329 jobs would be lost, state fiscal revenue would be reduced by $53. 2 million per year and local governments would lose a total of $22.6 million a year.
"Schools in the premier conferences also realize notable benefits such as national media exposure and lucrative media contracts, and the presence of four schools in a premier conference is important to Texas' ability to capitalize on the potential economic stimulus of college athletics," Perryman said.