The University of Missouri Board of Curators (BoC) didn’t say a whole lot today, but they said enough.
After three days of meeting on Kansas City for the BoC, it is evident that Missouri has one foot out the door, is stepping out with a second and is ready to shut the door on the Big 12 and open a new door into the SEC.
Nothing official came out of Missouri today. Missouri is still, currently a member of the Big 12 Conference. STILL. But the BoC gave Chancellor Brady Deaton a unanimous vote to make decisions regarding conference affiliation, meaning if MU wants to leave, there does not have to be a vote of approval. So, in other words, Missouri is gone.
The remaining focus of the presser focused on the importance of Kansas City to the University of Missouri. With Missouri’s departure seemingly imminent and inevitable, this has been a hot topic. What is going to happen to Kansas City, the epicenter of the MU-KU rivalry and Big 12 basketball? How can Missouri “flip-off” KC and forget about its long-time rivalry with Kansas? How can Missouri cost the city millions of dollars by potentially forcing the Big 12 basketball Tournament to leave Kansas City?
Missouri declared how important Kansas City is to the University of Missouri, continuing with a resolution to play an annual football game against a traditional rival (KU) and to host a Holiday basketball tournament in Kansas City. I find it very interesting that the opponent for the Arrowhead game was not mentioned. The critical importance of KC was reiterated several times. MU and Mike Alden have take some PR hits over the years, but this was perfectly worded. Other media pundits who cover Missouri consider it a out-of-the-park grandslam.
Back up for a second. A resolution? Why have a resolution if you plan on staying? You don’t try and protect a rivalry, unless you think the rivalry’s existence is in jeopardy. There is absolutely a zero need to do what was done.
Basically Mizzou turned the tables on Kansas by putting the final decision on KU.
Deaton said that if Missouri decided to make a move, it would be done in time for next football season, despite what Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas says. Neinas said last week that no matter what Missouri’s decision would be, they would be in the Big 12 in 2012. Wanna bet?
“I’ll say this much, today was the most decisive, most confident Brady Deaton I’ve seen through all of this,” Columbia Tribune’s Dave Matter said via twitter.
Deaton added that he was examining the stability of the Big 12. Alden added that it is his goal to continue the rivalry with Kansas in all sports, “no matter what.”
Kansas AD Sheahon Zenger responded with, “KU-Missouri is a great rivalry. The University of Kansas is a great Midwestern School, loyal to our Midwestern Conference and our Midwestern Roots. The KU-Missouri rivalry belongs in the Big 12 Conference. Should Missouri decide to leave the Big 12, we wish them well.”
Interesting statement. I take a couple of things away from it. First, why did Zenger need to comment at all? Secondly, Zenger did not say he wouldn’t play Missouri, which I think he would if he really didn’t want to play him.
The Missouri Board of Directors are meeting Monday.
Then, the door on the Big 12 could be shut.
Time will tell, but it could be all done — well at least the official departure of the Big 12 — within 72 hours. The Big 12 Presidents meeting takes place that afternoon. I don’t see Missouri participating in that.
“We look forward to discussing Missouri’s future with the Big 12 Conference,” Neinas said. “The school has been involved with the Big 12 and its predecessor conferences since 1907. It is propitious that the Big 12 Board of Directors has a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday. Obviously, Conference membership will be thoroughly discussed at that time.”
P.S. On a side note, 610 Sports afternoon host Nick Wright, of “Whats Right With Nick Wright” says, “I’m seriously losing a lot of respect for some these KU folks laughable, childish behavior. Grow up Kansas, GROW UP.”
Well said. And, by the way, STFU Kevin Ketizman.