Texas A&M's entrance to the Southeastern Conference was held up by Big 12 schools saying they wouldn't waive their rights to take legal action against the Aggies and the SEC.
Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas said they would not waive their rights. ESPN reported that eight schools — all but Oklahoma — came to that conclusion during a teleconference of the league's board of directors.
Schools are protecting themselves against the collapse of the Big 12 and possible financial damage caused by joining a lower-paying conference. According to reports, the Big 12 schools would drop their right to legal action if the Sooners agreed to remain part of the conference and stop considering joining the Pac-12.
SEC officials confirmed that the league took action Tuesday night and "voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation" that Big 12 members stood by a Sept. 2 letter assuring there would be no legal action involved.
In correspondence last month between Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe and A&M president R. Bowen Loftin, both agreed to mutual waivers of legal claims. That was relayed to the SEC in a Sept. 2 letter. But the Big 12's waiver must be agreed to by all members.
A&M had planned a formal announcement of its move Wednesday.
Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda said league officials were gathering information to assess "where this might be going."
"We are being held hostage," Loftin said. "Essentially, we're being told that you must stay here against your will, and we think that really flies in the face of what makes us Americans … and makes us free people."
Meanwhile, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said the school was approached about joining the Big 12, but it is content in the SEC.
UF HALL OF FAME: Former Florida All-America defensive end Alex Brown (1998-01) and All-SEC and current Heat player Udonis Haslem (1999-02) are among eight 2012 UF Athletic Hall of Fame inductees. The others: Abby Wambach (soccer, 1998-01), Hazel Clark Riley (women's track and field, 1996-99), Kristen Guise Lee (gymnastics, 1993-96), Jeff Morrison (men's tennis, 1997-00), Stephanie Nickitas (women's tennis, 1998-01) and Larry Travis (football player, 1960-62, UF assistant coach, 1963-66). More at tampabay.com/blogs/gators.
paterno honor: U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson and Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey nominated Penn State football coach Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, citing his contributions to athletics and higher education.
basketball: Ohio State will honor Bob Knight, a member of the Buckeyes' 1960 national championship team who coached Indiana and Texas Tech, Dec. 20 against Lamar.
Tampa soccer tryout: The Spartans men's team rescheduled a rained-out open tryout for 4:30 Friday at the school's practice field. The tryout is open to UT students taking 12 or more hours; a physical from March 9 to Sept. 9 is required.
fox cancels show: Fox Sports said it canceled a show that aired a segment that mocked Asian students who were filmed on the Southern California campus. An FSN spokesman said last week's segment was offensive, and that the show that aired the video, The College Experiment, would be canceled immediately.