The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

Texas A&M women's basketball coach Gary Blair would miss the rivalries most

Texas A&M logo

August 12, 2011 -- 4:26 p.m.

Similar to last summer, once again, news and speculation is spreading like wildfire about Texas A&M University's preparing to move to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and bolt from the Big 12 (minus two). Apparently, unlike last summer, this time the Aggies seem extremely serious about joining the SEC as soon as possible.

The Texas A&M Board of Regents will have a meeting on August 22 and part of the meeting will be spent discussing the potential move to the SEC.

According to Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express News, the Board of Regents have scheduled a 3pm meeting on Monday, August 15 to discuss "conference affiliation".

Naturally, football is the reason for this potential move to the SEC; however, the Aggies' compete in many more sports besides football.

One of those sports is women's college basketball. The Aggies women's hoops team won the NCAA championship in April; and, head coach Gary Blair is paying close attention to the potential move to the SEC.

June 12, 2010, Coach Blair said he was not in favor of a move to the SEC nor a move to the PAC-10 (now the PAC-12). Tonight, he re-iterated those remarks.

"I wasn't in favor of breaking up the Big 12 last year; and, I am for the Big 12 staying together this time."

Coach Blair added, "When I was coaching there, the SEC was the best conference in women's basketball. Since I've been coaching at Texas A&M, the Big 12 has become the best conference in women's basketball.

"I think we have a very good conference. Now that I'm at A&M, there's enough talent in the state of Texas for everybody."

Naturally, Coach Blair understands the decision to leave the Big 12 is not his decision, "There are smarter people than me in charge of this decision."

If the Aggies' Board of Regents does indeed decide to join the SEC, Coach Blair acknowledged he'd miss the Big 12's conference rivalries most.

"What I'd miss more than anything is the rivalries. When I left Stephen F. Austin (1985-1993) to go to Arkansas (1993-2003), we had no rivalries in the SEC. Our travel partner was LSU. We had to travel long hours to play LSU and the other teams in the SEC. Travel is much easier in the Big 12.

"If we just become tv leagues, I'm not for that. I'm for putting butts in the seats and the great rivalries."

Coach Blair also made a point with this rhetorical question: "How many people besides the rich people could afford to travel to the away games?"

Blair is not thrilled with the seemingly inevitable formation of four, 16-team mega-conferences.

"I don't believe the mega-conferences are great for our game."

Gary Blair summed up his feelings about the conference changes: "There's enough money for everyone in the six BCS conferences."

Stay tuned.

Click here to Support The HRR

Official Merchandise

Houston Roundball Review Merch

Shop at

HBCUs gear

Houston Cougars gear

Rice Owls gear

Texas A&M Aggies gear

Texas Longhorns gear

Texas Southern Tigers gear

Shop at

Houston Rockets gear

Shop at