Mission accomplished: Missouri is officially announced as the 14th member of the SEC, effective July 1, 2012.
The BigEast has filed a counter-suit against WVU. The dispute is over the 27-month agreement WVU has with the BigEast. Most experts think the court will NOT force WVU to stay in the BigEast, but will instead award monetary damages to the BigEast. So it's a question of how large the damages are and whether WVU will be able to afford to leave now and play in the Big12 in 2012. Mizzou/SEC will be held-up until this issue is resolved or settled.
Don't assume the quietness and lack of news is a sign this deal isn't happening. The current hold-up is exit-fee related. Long story short: The Big12 is contractually obligated to have at least 10 teams. TCU can fill A&M's spot in 2012, but WVU and the BigEast are in a legal battle over whether WVU can leave before 2014. If the court rules in WVU's favor, then Mizzou will have a Big12 replacement for 2012 and a substantially reduced exit fee. It could take weeks to settle this, but rest assured Mizzou is headed to the SEC, it's just a matter of time and how this legal process plays out.
This morning, Mizzou officials announced that Deaton's trip to India has been cancelled so that he can tend to "other responsibilities" (obviously, the SEC move). This makes the timeline for a possible announcement unclear. The India trip was planned for 6 months and would not have been cancelled if Deaton knew FOR SURE that this could be resolved in time.
The consensus is that Mizzou is still 100% set on leaving, but the hold-up is negotiating down the possible $28M Big12 exit fee. Some Mizzou/SEC fans are frustrated that other schools -- Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia -- withdrew without knowing what their exit fee would be. This raises questions for some, but others say it's because Mizzou has a greater liability and is determined to join the SEC by 2012.
We expect Mizzou to withdraw from the Big12 in the next 72 hours, followed by an official SEC announcement. Here's what's driving the speculation:
The Big12 has announced that WVU will become an official member of the conference effective July 1, 2012. In the Big12 press release, 10 schools were listed for 2012 and it did not include Missouri. The BigEast is trying to hold WVU to its 27-month commitment, but many feel that exit fees will be paid and WVU/Mizzou will both be able to play in their new respective conferences in 2012.
Missouri is still working out an exit strategy that doesn't involve staying in the Big12 for the 2012 season. This is a lot more complicated than most people realize, especially since the Big12 would have to find a school (on very short notice) to replace Missouri for the 2012 season. WVU and Louisville have been mentioned, but both are currently bound to the BigEast until 2014. The bottom line is that we're waiting on lawyers, commissioners, and school officials to come to an agreement on exit terms.
We created a new graphic to help you visualize what the new Big12 and SEC will look like after the WVU and Mizzou moves are finalized.
The comments Deaton made late last night and this morning make it pretty clear that MU is headed to the SEC. It could take a while to iron out the exit-fee, contract & schedule-related issues, but the decision to move sounds final.
Upon returning to Columbia, Chancellor Deaton had some reassuring comments for KOMU News: "There are no delays here at all. There are some very specific things that have to be addressed, and we are addressing those. It's the kind of thing you can't rush. I know fans get impatient. Let me say, I'm very sympathetic, but what I hope they will understand is that it's not a set of issues that one can press a button and be done with... The Big12 is making some of the moves now that are necessary for the Big12, and I wish them the best."
The Big12 meeting has ended. Mizzou gave no indication of whether it would withdraw, surprising the media and frustrating fans. Discussed at the meeting was the possibility of a Big12 Network, so it's possible Deaton promised to mull over the terms before making a final decision. It's also possible Missouri is having second thoughts on going to the SEC. PowerMizzou does a nice job summarizing the situation in this article.
Missouri is expected to inform the Big12 of its intentions to withdraw from the conference at today's meeting. Here's more info on today's Big12 meeting in Dallas and what the current rumors and expectations are for Mizzou/SEC.
The STL Post-Dispatch and KC Star are both reporting the same thing today: Missouri is headed for the SEC, and an announcement making it official should come this week.
EVERYONE needs to hear The Sherie Call. This lady wants a move to the SEC and has some strong words for a KU radio show!
After the BoC meeting today, Mizzou officials gave a strong indication they plan to leave the Big12. Specifically, Chancellor Deaton is now authorized to change conferences WITHOUT further approval from the BoC. They also announced some "concessions" for KC in the event that Mizzou leaves the Big12, including an annual out-of-conference game to be played at Arrowhead Stadium and participating in a regional basketball tournament to be held at the Sprint Center. Deaton said he expects the decision to be "expeditious", "rapid as possible" and "what's best for the University of Missouri." Be sure to send Deaton & the Curators an email thanking them for the pro-SEC decisions announced today.
The all-important BoC meetings are Thursday and Friday at UMKC. Email Deaton and the Curators and tell them you support a move to the SEC.
Younger fans seem more pro-SEC, open to change, and in touch with the current landscape of college athletics than older generations. Younger fans also have more reason to care about the future. This is the single most important time ever for Mizzou athletics. We cannot afford to be scared of change.
Read our latest email to the Administration.
The AP obtained a 45-page Mizzou document summarizing the pros/cons of a move to SEC. Among them: $12 million more in annual TV revenue!
We point out the numerous flaws in Dennis Dodd's (CBS Sports) latest article on Mizzou & SEC: www.mizzou2sec.com/dodd_rebuttal
Missouri Curators give Deaton permission to explore conference alignment options (i.e., pursue SEC membership). Deaton has also stepped down as Big12 Chairman to "avoid a conflict of interest". Both are strong signs Mizzou is headed to the SEC. We ask everyone to send the administration an email thanking them for today's decision (positive reinforcement). Be sure to mention that you look forward to it becoming official soon (more pressure).
Tomorrow is the big meeting. We need everyone to email this link to Chancellor Deaton (email@example.com) to make sure he gets the message.
The next 2 days are crucial. To find out how you can help, check out our latest Call For Action.
Read our message to Governor Nixon.
Visit our new website aimed directly at Chancellor Deaton.
The Pac-12 just announced that it's NOT expanding. Texas reportedly wouldn't budge on the LHN, and the Pac-12 didn't want Oklahoma without Texas.
Pittsburgh and Syracuse have applied to the ACC; official announcement expected within 24 hours.
Chip Brown reports that Oklahoma's regents are 100% set on joining the Pac-12; official announcement expected by end of month.
Deaton's dual role as MU Chancellor and Big12 Chairman is a major conflict of interest. He needs to resign from Big12 Chair so he can act solely in the best interest of Missouri.