Texas A&M plans to leave Big 12 by July 2012

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HOUSTON (AP) - Texas A&M has told the Big 12 Conference it plans to leave the league by July 2012 if it is accepted by another conference.

The move may set off another round of conference realignment in college sports. The Aggies have made it clear they want to join the 12-member Southeastern Conference.

The SEC said Wednesday that it had not received an application from Texas A&M to join the league and that it would have no further comment.

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe says the nine other schools in the conference are "steadfast in their commitment to the Big 12" and that the conference will be "aggressively exploring its membership options."

Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, chairman of the Big 12 board of directors, says the group is "committed to keeping our conference competitively and academically strong."

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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