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Texas A&M officially joins Southeastern Conference

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A&M_web.jpg The Southeastern Conference officially announced on Sunday that Texas A&M University will join the conference effective on July 1, 2012. The Aggies will begin competition in all varsity sports beginning in the 2012-13 academic year. The announcement marks the first time the SEC has expanded since South Carolina and Arkansas each joined the league in 1991.

Texas A&M's brings the current SEC membership up to 13 institutions and the Aggies immediately add to the standard of athletic excellence of the conference. Texas A&M boasts a tradition-rich football and three national championship programs from 2010-11: men's and women's track and women's basketball.

University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart worked under current Texas A&M Athletics Director Bill Byrne while at Oregon in 1983 and reacted to the news on Twitter this evening.

"On behalf of the coaches, administrators and student-athletes at UK, I would like to welcome the Texas A&M Aggies to the SEC," Barnhart tweeted. "Coming off its best year athletically in school history, Texas A&M adds a strong athletic program along with its academic prowess. I look forward to competing against one of my mentors, Bill Byrne, for years to come."

The SEC Digital Network has full coverage of Sunday's news, including a press release and everything you need to know about the Aggies.

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