Texas A&M Drops McNeese Off 2012 Football Schedule
Texas A&M were set to welcome the McNeese Cowboys for their home opener on Aug. 30, but word broke Wednesday that the Aggies have broken that contract to play Louisiana Tech instead. The move has left McNeese scrambling to fill the hole in their schedule and could put the Cowboys facing off against a conference rival twice in the same season.
With Texas A&M’s defection out of the Big 12 and into the SEC this coming season, the Aggies are moving their schedule around. The decision will cost the school $200,000 to break their contract with McNeese, according to the American Press. The school stands to lose money, however, if it can’t find an opponent to fill the slot.
The move has affected another Southland Conference team, as well. Louisiana Tech was set to play McNeese rival Lamar on Aug. 30, and Lamar now finds itself in the same boat as the Cowboys. The logical move might be for the two teams to meet up, but McNeese Athletic Director Tommy McClelland he will try to avoid that, if it can be done.
“In other sports it’s probably more common (to schedule a nonconference game with a conference opponent),” McClelland said. “I might be a trailblazer, but I’m not sure I’m ready to blaze that trail.”
McClelland said he hopes the football schedule will be completed — again — by the end of next week.
“It’s totally reflective of the realignment process,” McClelland said referring to the changing landscape of athletic conferences. “It was very important to me to have a schedule done at arm’s distance and not be in this situation in the middle of February. This is an uncomfortable situation to be in, but as uncomfortable as it is, we didn’t create this. It’s not our fault. We have to respond to the situation that’s around us.”
He said he does not begrudge Tech for pushing a fellow state school to the side or A&M for changing its mind so late in the game, as the whole episode is a reflection of the increasingly volatile state of college athletics.
As McClelland pointed out, the line would never stop if it became a of matter of finding someone to blame for all the dominoes that fell in order for this scenario to arise in the first place.
“Is it A&M’s fault? Is it LSU’s fault for approving them into the SEC? We could blame Missouri for leaving the Big 12. We could go along all day long and decide who to blame,” McClelland said. “My buddy (Tech AD) Bruce Van De Velde had a great opportunity to do a three-game series. I’m not upset with Tech. It’s not squarely on their shoulders.”
So, what do you think about all this? Were you looking forward to the Texas A&M game? Would you like to see McNeese play Lamar twice?