We told you last month that this story had the staying power of Jason Voorhees.
In another story from the Kansas City Star’s Mike DeArmond (whose coverage of this story has been the most accurate from the start), The University of Missouri Board of Curators has authorized Chancellor Brady Deaton to explore conference membership opportunities.
Quashing any rumors that the Board was divided over the issue, DeArmond reports that the vote was unanimous. While interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas has been preaching unity and telling reporters that Missouri would remain a member of the conference, Mizzou is telling the world that it’s looking out for the interests of the University.
“The Board of Curators delegates to Chancellor Deaton the authority to take any and all actions necessary to fully explore options for conference affiliation and contracts related thereto which best serve the interests of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Missouri system,” Erdman saidDeaton then announced he had resigned his position as chairman of the Big 12 board of directors to “avoid any perceived or actual conflict of interest” and “in order to focus more fully on MU’s best interests.”Deaton said he will work with other MU officials “to expeditiously examine what may be the best conference affiliation for our university.”
At issue is a proposal to have the nine remaining Big 12 schools agree to a deal in which all first- and second-tier media revenues would be committed to the league for equal distribution. This would include all revenues from the league’s television contracts with ABC/ESPN (first tier) and Fox Sports (second tier). Texas’ Longhorn Network is a third tier and would not be included. The deal would last for six years, whether the institutions are members of the Big 12, or not. The deal was contingent upon each remaining Big 12 school to agree to the measure and with yesterday’s vote, Missouri told the Big 12 that they were having none of it.
Multiple independent sources in Birmingham and around the league have told IBCR that Missouri could be accepted by the SEC as early as Friday, but that a more likely case was a decision next week. If Missouri applies, they will be accepted. Missouri has not formally applied for membership, nor has the league offered a formal invitation to the school, but the school and league officials have discussed the move in enough detail to allow the Missouri Board of Curators to “feel good” about last night’s decision.
Jason lives, y’all!
UPDATE: The Birmingham News’ Jon Solomon reports that there were no discussions of scheduling in a 14-team league when SEC Athletic Directors met Wednesday.
"We can't talk about it," Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley said after the ADs met for about four hours at the SEC office. "We're talking about A&M."
Said Mississippi State Athletics Director Scott Stricklin: "We didn't talk any 14-team schedules. It was all focused on the 13-team model."
Jason lives, but he’s stalking his next victim, or something.
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