In this latest round of NCAA conference realignment, the headlines have been saved for schools considering moves from one conference to another.
Tuesday, Baylor decided to throw a wrench in that...big time.
Before the SEC's member presidents voted to accept Texas A&M as the conference's 13th member Tuesday night, Baylor decided to pull back its approval of the Aggies defection, a move that could slow a potential seismic shift in the college sports landscape.
The SEC's presidents want assurances that no individual Big 12 school will sue for contractual interference over Texas A&M's departure. Baylor has not given that assurance to this point, according to sources.
"We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action," University of Florida president and SEC chairman Dr. Bernie Machen said in a statement released Wednesday. "The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure. "
Roughly translated, get ready for the lawyers to get involved here.
From the perspective of potential Big XII expansion targets like Pitt and West Virginia, this news pretty much assures there will be little movement on that front for a while. Before the Big XII can start talking to other programs, it needs to straighten things out with the members it has first. At this point in time, the conference can't convince Texas A&M to stay, nor, apparently, can it convince Baylor to let the Aggies go. Something will have to give there before the conference can move forward with expansion, or even keeping potential defoctors like Texas and Oklahoma from jumping ship in Pac-12 expansion.