October 2, 2011
Michael L. Slive
2400 Dale Ernhardt Jr. Drive, Trailer 23
Tuscaloosa, AL 56843
Re: Request for Assistance
This letter is intended to inform you of a misunderstanding we had regarding our recent application to join the SEC, and to seek your assistance in rectifying the situation. As you are aware, Texas A&M University takes great pride in its athletic accomplishments and is an outstanding academic center. Our recent decision to leave the Big 12 Conference was designed to enhance these attributes.
In considering the conferences in which Texas A&M would have the best fit, particularly as a football program, it was decided in a meeting amongst our Regents that the Southland Conference was the best overall fit. We have played a number of teams from that conference over the last few years, and hoped to build new regional rivalries that would be attractive to our fan base, while maintaining the competitive edge that Aggies expect from their football program. (You should have seen how happy the fans were when we roasted Stephen F. Austin last year 42-7--now that’s football!) Apparently, however, some notes were incorrectly transcribed, and the next thing you know, we accidentally submitted an application to the Southeastern Conference. I am sure you can see how such a thing could have happened.
It probably was just as surprising to you that we submitted an application to the SEC as it was to me. After all, we haven’t beaten a team from the SEC since 1995. Most of our incoming freshman wouldn’t even be able to remember that game! I mean, seriously, we certainly would not have knowingly applied to be a member of a conference like that. I probably should have recognized the mistake sooner, but I’ve been flustered recently by this whole Longhorn Network situation. In any event, it wasn’t until this weekend when people kept saying that the Arkansas game would be a conference game next year that made me recognize the error. “What?! I thought, we wouldn’t want to play Arkansas in a conference game! Every year! That’s crazy!” That would mean we’d have to play Alabama and LSU, also. That would be inconsistent with our goal of actually someday winning a conference title, a goal that has proved elusive to us for the last 14 years as a Big 12 member.
So, I looked into things a little closer, and found the source of our error. I really, really apologize for the confusion. The President of Sam Houston State and I had a chuckle over the whole mess this morning. He assured me that the Southland Conference would not let our mistake hold up our approval for competing in that conference beginning July 1, 2012, but we will need the SEC’s permission, given that you formally accepted our erroneous application. Thus, this letter is intended to seek your permission.
Please, please, please, please, please do not make us play Alabama, LSU, Florida, or even Mississippi next year! You’ve seen us. We’re 0-7 and we haven’t even played SEC teams ranked in the top 10. Have mercy! You don’t want 13 members anyway . It’s an odd and unlucky number. So this works out best for all involved.
Again, my deepest apologies for the transcription error that caused this unfortunate misunderstanding. We need to get our schedules arranged with Stephen F. Austin, Lamar, and Sam Houston State quickly, so we would really appreciate your approval of this request at the earliest opportunity. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
R. Bowen Loftin
P.S. In the alternative, Texas A&M would be willing to play in the SEC provided all games are limited to only two quarters. Four quarters is a lot to expect out of student-athletes.
Cc: Commissioner, Southland Conference