Newcomers Missouri, Texas A&M feel at home in SEC

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DESTIN, Fla. — Missouri and Texas A&M won’t officially make the Southeastern Conference a 14-team league until July 1, but they haven’t been shy about trumpeting their new home.

“We’ve walked around from Day 1 and had the SEC patch on our sleeve,” said first-year Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin, whose team wore the league’s logo on its practice jerseys this spring and on shirts coaches wore while recruiting.

Missouri has announced its presence with billboards in Georgia, including on Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County and right beside Turner Field: “Proud To Be SEC Mizzou,” they read.

“I’ve seen a couple of those,” Georgia football coach Mark Richt said of the signs in the school colors of black and gold.

Georgia had some recent recruiting success in Missouri with former tight end Aron White and quarterback/receiver Logan Gray.

Now with Texas A&M in the SEC, Richt said Georgia will be in the Lone Star state more than usual.

The soon-to-be former Big 12 schools have been represented at conference business meetings for several months already, but this week’s SEC spring meetings brings them together with the rest of the conference presidents and chancellors, athletic directors, senior administrators and football and basketball coaches.

Missouri’s and Texas A&M’s presence in the conference has been the backdrop to much of what’s going on this week with football and basketball scheduling formats needing to be determined as the league grows from 12 teams.

The addition of the new teams brings aboard top-10 TV markets in Texas in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston and top-32 markets of St. Louis and Kansas City, but that might not mean a big bump in money from a reworked television contract, according to the Sports Business Journal.

SANDUSKY CASE: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, facing trial next week on charges he sexually abused 10 boys, on Thursday asked a state appeals court to review his case and to delay the criminal proceedings against him.

The Superior Court’s online docket indicated Sandusky filed a petition for review but did not explain what he was seeking.

The judge in Sandusky’s criminal case, John Cleland, on Wednesday denied a defense request for a continuance and a second request that would have given Sandusky the right to seek immediate Superior Court review of that decision.

SUMMITT FUND GETS DONATION

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southeastern Conference and its member schools are donating $100,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund to help fight Alzheimer’s disease.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said that the former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach “is an integral part of the Southeastern Conference’s history and we will be forever grateful for her many contributions to this league and to college basketball.”

The Hall of Fame coach stepped down in April, eight months after revealing she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

– Associated Press

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