Aug. 31, 2011
WACO, Texas –Baylor University President Ken Starr and Director of Athletics Ian McCaw have issued statements relative to Texas A&M’s impending departure from the Big 12 Conference.
The two institutions and longtime rivals, separated by just 90 miles on Texas Highway 6, joined the University of Texas as charter members of the Southwest Conference in 1914, and the trio of schools, along with Texas Tech, joined with the Big Eight Conference members to found the Big 12 Conference in 1996.
Baylor and Texas A&M first met on the gridiron in 1899, and the Oct. 15, 2011, game in College Station will mark the 108th renewal of the Battle of the Brazos.
“Baylor University and Texas A&M have enjoyed a spirited football rivalry since 1899. We have made clear that we consider such rivalries worthy of protection and so we are disappointed that the Aggies have decided to leave the Big 12. We continue to have immense respect for President Loftin and wish A&M well, knowing the remaining Big 12 institutions are united in a vision for an athletic conference that will remain one of the strongest and most competitive in the nation.
We begin this next chapter focused on what is certain to be a bright future. We know that the Big 12 is an exciting and attractive conference for many reasons, including the quality of our academic programs, the strength of our athletic teams, the support of our loyal fans and the depth of our vibrant traditions. The Big 12 Conference remains strong and united."
“We regret that Texas A&M has elected to withdraw from the Big 12 Conference. Moreover, we are disappointed that our 108-year football rivalry with the Aggies will be coming to an end for the foreseeable future. The extent of future competition in other sports with the Aggies is uncertain at this time.
However, we are encouraged by the commitment of solidarity among the nine Big 12 members. We look forward to working with the Big 12 as we pursue our future membership options.”