Conference Realignment: Missouri A Big XII Member... For Now

At an undisclosed location in Dallas, The Big XII Board of Directors met today in a regularly scheduled meeting to discuss various topics ranging from Tier 1 & 2 television rights to a potential Conference TV Network.

But most of us following the action have been waiting for some signal that the University of Missouri would submit its resignation as a conference member.  Recall last week that the Missouri Bard of Curators granted chancellor Deaton was granted the authorization "to take action and negotiate contracts" on behalf of the University.  Soon after, Deaton announced publicly the school was having "communications" with Southeastern Conference officials.

However, today's meeting did not result in any further realignment fireworks.  There was speculation the league members, including TCU who also participated in the get together, would receive from Missouri a notice of conditional withdrawal.  But it appears it did not happen.

The Kansas City Star contacted interim league commissioner Chuck Neinas regarding the topic of Missouri. 

"The conference encouraged Missouri to stay in the Big 12,” Neinas added, referred to a statement to be released by the league on the Big 12 Board of Directors meeting on Monday in Dallas.

When asked if following its release Neinas could be asked for further guidance, Neinas said: “You could, but I won’t give you any.”

NBC affiliate KOMU in Columbia caught up with chancellor Deaton at the airport today and spoke to him about the potential move to the SEC.

Fresh off a Monday night flight from Dallas, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton commented on his meeting with the Big 12 Board of Directors saying, "I wish them [the Big 12] the best and all that, so we'll see where that goes."

"There's no delays here at all. There's some very specific things that have to be adressed. We want to address those," said Deaton. "We really can't rush these things. These are things you can't rush. I know fans get impatient I gotta say I'm very sympathetic. What I hope they will understand that this is not a set of issues that one can just press a button and be done with it. There are some issues that have to be adressed on behalf of the University of Missouri and that's what we're doing, looking out for the University of Missouri."

When asked if he had the needed votes from the SEC presidents for an invite he replied, "I'll let them speak for themselves, we're reasonably clear about where we stand."

Given the signals Missouri continues to send, it is not surprising the Big 12 Board is planning for a Missouri departure which would bring the total to four members lost over a two year period.  Apparently Deaton is reaching into the Loftin bag of communication tricks. One wonders if these guys are just puppets on Mike Slive strings.

The league offered an official release this evening.

“In a regularly-scheduled meeting today at an undisclosed Dallas area location, the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors reaffirmed previous action to execute institutional grants of Tier 1 (over-the-air) and Tier 2 (cable) television rights to the Conference.

“The Board also discussed a wide range of topics including NCAA legislation, the Bowl Championship Series, and exploration of a Conference dedicated TV network.

“Additionally, a strong desire for the University of Missouri to maintain its Big 12 affiliation was expressed. All 10 member institutions and TCU participated in the meeting.”

In other news, the league continues to advance its research in lining up potential replacements should Missouri leave.  It appears the league has its eyes on a couple of Big East members in Louisville and West Virginia with a slant to the latter due to its big revenue football program.  But what is increasingly evident is there does not necessarily be support to push the league back to twelve members in the immediate future.  The work toward stabilization is still in progress.

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