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Texas A&M System Board of Regents vote to support SEC expansion

Source: KBTX
Source: KBTX(KBTX)
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 4:49 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The Texas A&M System Board of Regents has voted to direct Texas A&M University president Katherine Banks to support SEC expansion.

Following an executive session that lasted more than two hours, Chairman Tim Leach said the board had a good discussion of issues on the agenda, including the communication process surrounding conference expansion.

In a statement issued Wednesday evening, the board said the following:

“The decision in 2011 to join the Southeastern Conference has strengthened the position of Texas A&M University as a national leader in college athletics.

As college athletics go through the historic changes we are experiencing today, Texas A&M competes at the highest level with many of the top universities in the country — on the field, on the court, and in the classroom.

As members of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, we are proud of the Texas A&M athletic department and its tremendous success over the past decade. We are proud to be the largest university in Texas and in the SEC. We are proud to have rock-solid financials, the best fan base in America and 550,000 former students who compete and succeed across the globe.

We have the utmost confidence in Texas A&M President M. Katherine Banks and Athletic Director Ross Bjork to navigate discussions with our SEC conference partners.

Although the Board had concerns about the communication process relating to this matter, today the Board received the information it needed to properly consider the long-term ramifications of a possible expansion. President Banks and Athletic Director Bjork briefed board members after they participated in meetings yesterday and today with the SEC Commissioner’s Office.

The board concluded that this expansion would enhance the long-term value of the SEC to student athletes and all of the institutions they represent — including Texas A&M.

Therefore The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Board directs Texas A&M President M. Katherine Banks to vote in favor of extending formal invitations to the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas to join the conference in 2025 when the SEC presidents consider the matter.

As developments unfold, the leadership at Texas A&M will continue to analyze our opportunities and make decisions based on what’s best for our flagship university.”

Following executive session, Regent Elaine Mendoza motioned to adopt the regents’ statement.

This was the second time regents met this week to discuss the possible expansion of the Southeastern Conference.

After meeting in executive session for about 90 minutes on Monday, the board took no action and decided to reconvene on Wednesday.

With all members of the Board of Regents present, the meeting went into executive session at 4:08 p.m. The board’s executive session concluded at 6:22 p.m. and was followed by an open meeting that lasted roughly two minutes before adjourning.

Members of the administration including Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M University President Kathy Banks, Deputy Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Billy Hamilton, Ray Bonilla and Brooks Moore from the system’s Office of General Counsel, Director of Athletics Ross Bjork and Board of Regents Executive Director Vickie Spillers were asked to join the executive session

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