Pollard releases statement on Texas A&M’s departure


ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard

Daily Staff

ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard released a statement on Wednesday regarding Texas A&M’s recently announced departure from the Big 12 Conference.

“It is unfortunate that Texas A&M is moving forward with plans to depart the Big 12,” Pollard said in a news release. “They have been highly competitive in the conference and represented our league well on the national stage. Although our preference is for them to stay in the Big 12, we wish them well in the future and respect their decision. The Commissioner, Presidents and Directors of Athletics are poised to move quickly and aggressively in studying alternatives for the conference.”

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin officially released a statement Wednesday informing the Big 12 that the school’s membership in the conference would end on June 30, 2012, if it is accepted into another conference.

“We appreciate the Big 12’s willingness to engage in a dialogue to end our relationship through a mutually agreeable settlement,” Loftin said in the news release. “We, too, desire that this process be as amicable and prompt as possible and result in a resolution of all outstanding issues, including mutual waivers by Texas A&M and the conference on behalf of all the remaining members.”

Among his admission that he’s been too consumed with preparation for the Cyclones’ season-opening game against Northern Iowa, ISU coach Paul Rhoads said he had already addressed the issue with his team.

“We’ve already addressed it with recruiting because the rumors were strong enough that we had to,” Rhoads said. “There hasn’t been any fallout because the student-athletes are well-informed that the Big 12 is on solid ground and now it’s about who we add from here.”

The landscape of college football, Rhoads said, is everchanging regardless of the history of certain rivalries.

“When Oklahoma and Nebraska quit playing each other every year, the Southwest Conference disbanded and now Nebraska and Colorado left us, we got raided when I was in the Big East, it’s just everchanging,” Rhoads said. “So I don’t think you can count on much of anything when it comes to the rivalries moving forward because you never know what’s going to happen next.”

As far as the players at Iowa State, they’re less concerned about the situation.

“We have a lot of great teams in the Big 12 and I think it’ll stay together no matter what,” said junior ISU linebacker A.J. Klein. “We really don’t know how it’s going to unfold, especially with Nebraska and Colorado leaving last year and that whole thing that went down. We can only concentrate on ourselves. It’s up to the athletic directors and presidents of the schools, so that’s really out of our hands and whatever happens happens.”