UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
COLLEGE STATION -- If the move to the SEC wasn't controversial enough for Texas A&M, now there's a new issue brewing and it's creating an uproar among the "Fighting Texas Aggies."
Before every Aggie game day, students line up to pull tickets so they can have the best seat in the house but an SEC rule banning students from sitting behind the opposing team's bench, is now threatening a section of the 12th Man.
"Everybody is going to have to learn that we're adapting to changing times." said Student body president, Jeff Pickering. "Yet as Aggies, I think we can do that without losing our unchanging values and one of those values is the commitment is to Kyle Field being the home to the 12th Man."
The rule states students cannot be in the first 25 rows between the 30 yard lines meaning around 1,400 student seats, including the Aggie band, would be affected.
"I think it's a bummer we might have to move from our normal seating because there's so much tradition here at A&M," said sophomore Noah Thatcher.
On Monday President Loftin meet with students to discuss a plan to move the band two sections over and add about 100 student seats to the south end zone to compensate for the rule.
And while Jeff Pickering is glad the administration is working to minimize the impact on students, he says he wants to see the university fight against the ruling first.
"Before we start talking about the logistical, the possible logistical changes, of moving the Aggie band around or moving student seats around what first needs to happen is that I need to see our administration exhausting all viable options with an exemption to the SEC."
And Jason Cook, vice president of marketing and communications, says the administration will do everything they can to keep the integrity of the 12th Man intact while transitioning to a new conference.
"Aggies hate change and obviously this is a change and it's going to require us to do some things a little bit differently but our commitment all along is that we are not going to lose what's unique about Texas A&M," Cook said. "That's the 12th Man, that's a lot of our spirits, traditions and values."