COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Consider the Aggies departed to the SEC.
Texas A&M president R. Bowden Loftin told CBSSports.com Saturday he expects the Aggies to be in the SEC "shortly". After joining a Big12 presidents' conference call this week, Loftin said the Big 12 is committed to going forward "without us."
"I think the legal issues are basically gone," said Loftin speaking at halftime of the Oklahoma State-A&M game.
He was referring to four Big 12 schools that retained their rights to possibly sue the SEC if A&M leaves. Baylor had been heading up that effort since early September when former commissioner Dan Beebe wrote SEC commissioner Mike Slive that all hurdles had been cleared for A&M to join the SEC.
A&M could be playing its first game as an SEC member (actual membership begins July 1) next Saturday against Arkansas in Arlington, Texas.
"Look at what’s happened this past week," Loftin said. "The action on Tuesday night by the Pac-12 has led to the Big 12, minus us, being in place. I joined the teleconference on Thursday evening of the Big 12 directors. They were firmly committed to going forward without us with nine teams."
CBSSports.com reported earlier Saturday that Texas A&M officials considered the SEC membership to be resolved quickly. Loftin was asked directly if he expects A&M to be in the SEC by next Saturday.
"I expect to be in the SEC soon," he said.
Loftin said he would listen to a plea from interim commissioner Chuck Neinas to keep the Aggies in the Big 12, but didn't sound hopeful.
“He’s an icon in our world, you know that," Loftin said "I’d be willing to talk to Chuck anytime he wants to be talk to me. But we’ve made a very firm decision about our future here and we’re going to stick with it. What more can I say?"
On Friday, Neinas said he would try to contact A&M but considered them gone to the SEC. He also said he expects Missouri to stay in the Big 12.
Loftin spoke exclusively to CBSSports.com and the Dallas Morning News.