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Big 12 women's basketball: Baylor coach Kim Mulkey slams the door on Aggies

BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Published: October 19, 2011
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Baylor's Kim Mulkey and Texas A&M's Gary Blair are presumably old chums, dating back to their days at Louisiana Tech, where Blair was an assistant coach and Mulkey was a star guard.

Apparently, that was before the impending breakup.

When A&M and Blair make their exit from the Big 12 to the SEC, Mulkey said she'll be cutting off the Aggies from future scheduling, no matter how great their rivalry has become, both in the league and nationally.

“My feeling is this,” Mulkey told reporters Wednesday during Big 12 Media Days in Kansas City, “if a man wants to divorce me and says our relationship has no value to him, and then he asks me if he can sleep with me, the answer is, ‘No!'”

Football commands the tight focus when the topic turns to Big 12 realignment. But the impact and ramifications of a shake-up stretch across all sports.

So, too, does bad blood.

Remember, it was Baylor that tried to block the Aggies' Big 12 exit with the threat of a lawsuit.

Mulkey, firing up Wednesday's series of press conferences from the outset, was playing off comments made by A&M president R. Bowen Loftin.

She went on: “I remember Texas A&M's president with these quotes. ‘It's like a marriage. If it's over, it's over.'”

And the A&M rivalries appear to be over. And not just for Baylor, which went 3-1 against the Aggies a year ago, with the lone loss a costly one: in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight.

Texas won't schedule A&M — in anything; the Longhorns are on record with that.

Remember, it's Texas that gets much of the blame for the Big 12's realignment mess, which has already seen Nebraska, Colorado and A&M flee the league, with Missouri currently considering its exit strategy.

“Everybody's going to try to find a villain,” said Longhorns coach Gail Goestenkors. “But that's their business. We don't feel like the villain. We know we're not the villain.

“So we're just going to play ball.”

Just not against A&M, the defending national champion and one of the program's that has helped elevate the Big 12 to elite status nationally.

And while most coaches — Mulkey excluded — took a politically correct avenue in discussing potential future games with A&M as a nonconference foe, privately they were against it.

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