You may recall back in the late 90's Ken Starr, current Baylor President had to deal with a President of a large institution on issues of truth and integrity. One of the sad and morally bankrupt chapters in that entire episode resulted in perjury charges with a central question being "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is."
Although I am not sure baptists can wager as long as others are watching, I would bet that Ken Starr never thought he would see the likes of that kind of moral relativism when dealing with university presidents. But now we know better and, thanks to Loftin's weird desire to save face and control the spin, we know precisely what his "carefully chosen" words were to what seemed to be a fairly straight forward question.
Over the past couple of days there have been at least two articles quoting AtM Prez Loftin on what he said back in 2010 when at a meeting with Big 12 members where the specific issue and question on the table was "Are you (insert your school's name here) committed to staying in the Big 12 ?" Loftin and the aggs, despite their blustering and name calling, were certainly reminded of the importance of their response to this question when Baylor sent a fax to the SEC a few weeks back. You can only imagine the conversation between Slive and Loftin. "Wait, you were asked if you were committed? ... And, you said what?"
Fast forward to the last few days when the Aggs, who seem desperate to control the "truth" and spin on what actually happened, have unleashed their president to give us all a lecture on aggie integrity. I guess it all depends on what is.. is.. Sound familiar?
The most recent interview by Loftin provided this wonderful quote:
"I said, 'Texas A&M is committed to the Big 12 as it is today.' .."
Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/article_1664529b-38fa-5437-98bb-37c6c71fc3ad.html#ixzz1bzKJCfhj
Previously, The 12th Man Magazine included a fairly lengthy interview with Loftin shining light on what he was thinking at the time he he gave his "carefully worded" response.
"Three schools didn’t commit at that point, and the answer I gave was different from everyone else’s. I said that A&M was committed to the Big 12 as it is today. I chose those words very carefully. Since then, I have been accused of being a liar because I committed based on a 12-team conference as it was structured in June 2010. I said my words very carefully because I was not going to set myself into a situation where the conference was radically changed and we would be committed to being in a conference we didn’t really want to be a part of."
So, after three schools in the same meeting heard the same question and said "no", Loftin sits in his chair and crafts this jewel of a response with "integrity" and "respect". "As it is today" is what Loftin is hanging his integrity on and his reputation of honesty, You have to be an... well. an aggie,... to swallow this one. We now know what he meant because he is actually saying what he meant.. NOW. Bill Clinton said "there IS nothing going on between us".. contending that this statement was true Clinton argued that since IS could have meant right now at the time the question was asked, then his answer was the "truth".
You would have had to be an idiot not to know that when you made that statement that everyone else in the universe and especially the other members in the room understood and knew that "as it is today" meant that Nebraska and Colorado were out and Missouri wanted out. to the point.. that what is is and was. Just as Clinton could not and should not have believed that the Grand Jury question was suggesting that Ms. Lewinsky was somewhere in the vicinity of the witness stand, Loftin is on equally unsound reasoning. Mind you, Loftin apparently did not add the qualifiers he now adds to his answer. Context is everything when it comes to language and understanding. Apparently, in the strange world of aggieland, you have to have an interpreter. Mr. Loftin, the question "are you committed?" already assumed that the there was radical change happening. If everyone on the room knew that but you, then kudo's to you for being "truthful", but, the integrity you claim is highly questionable.
Three other schools had the integrity to say "NO". They were apparently not as clever as the aggies, but when it comes to integrity, I'm siding with them. To make matters worse the ags started acting like they were committed and making demands of their own to secure their commitment. "You promised $20 million, if we don't get it we will sue"... in other words, prez loftin, we understood what you meant by your actions. When you demand commitment from others you really should, as a matter of "truth" and "integrity", tell the other that you are not really committed to them.
I remember when all the ags where saying how bogus Ken Starr's, and perhaps other's, threats of lawsuits were. But, Starr has seen this brand of "truth" before. In the Clinton fiasco, Starr went on to create a mountain of evidence that clearly demonstrated what was true. As to whether or not Clinton was truthful, the House of Representatives impeached him and the Senate acquitted him mostly on a party line vote. But the court of public opinion was clear. The President lied, period, end of story.