Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive says he remains hopeful Texas A&M will join the league by next season and that the conference has "started to look at schedules for 2012-13" for 13 teams."
SEC presidents voted to accept Texas A&M last week, but the invitation was contingent on Texas A&M being free of legal issues regarding its departure from the Big 12. Several Big 12 schools, including Baylor, have said they have not waived their right to consider litigation.
Slive also said in the released statement that the SEC has no "immediate plans" to add a 14th team. He says the SEC isn't "thinking in terms of numbers." He says the league thinks about the strength of the SEC and the "attractiveness of Texas A&M as an institution."
In 78 years the SEC has accepted just two membership applications: Arkansas and South Carolina.
"As I said over the past year or so, the SEC has had no particular interest in expansion. We were, and are, happy with 12 teams. If Texas A&M's President, Dr. Bowen Loftin had not called me in late July, we had no plans to explore adding an institution," Slive said.
He added that when he did get the call from Loftin, "we became interested."
Slive said of the Texas A&M deal, "we remain optimistic."