Texas A&M will officially join SEC in July 2012

Texas A&M will officially join the SEC on July 1, 2012, and will begin competition in the 2012-13 season for all sports, the SEC Presidents and Chancellors unanimously announced Sunday.

Texas A&M will be the 13th member of the league.

“On behalf of the coaches, administrators and student-athletes at the University of Kentucky, I would like to welcome the Texas A&M Aggies to the Southeastern Conference,” Barnhart said in a statement. “Coming off its best year athletically in school history, Texas A&M adds a strong athletic program along with its academic prowess to the best league in the country. I look forward to competing against one of my mentors, Bill Byrne, for years to come.”

Byrne was Oregon’s Associate Athletic Director in 1983 when Barnhart was hired to be the regional director of the Ducks Athletic Fund.

The SEC had last added a member in 1991, when South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league.

“The Southeastern Conference provides Texas A&M the national visibility that our great university and our student-athletes deserve,” said Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin in a statement. “We are excited to begin competition in the nation’s premier athletic conference. This is a 100-year decision that we have addressed carefully and methodically, and I believe the Southeastern Conference gives the Aggies the best situation of any conference in the country.”