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Yesterday, Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton and athletic director Mike Alden opened up with the press about their school’s move to the Southeastern Conference. In a long Q&A the two discussed everything from exit fees to timelines. It’s all interesting and you can read it in full here.
We wanted to provide a couple of quick excerpts:
Q: Can you say with certainty you will be in the Big 12 in 2012? There is the situation with West Virginia maybe not being able to get out of the Big East and come to the Big 12 for three years, which could have ramifications for you.
Deaton: Our full plans are to go in 2012, and we think West Virginia will be in the Big 12 in 2012. There is the technical possibility — we don’t think it’s very possible at all — and as you can tell by our actions we’re reasonably confident and have some assurances of that.
Q: But if West Virginia can’t come to the Big 12 next year?
Deaton: We’re going to the SEC regardless. We’re on our own pathway here. I’ve had good discussions with the president of West Virginia over time, and I understand where they are and he understands where we are.
Alden: I was in Birmingham yesterday (Tuesday), and in a week we’ll be rolling out the 2012 football schedule. So I can assure you that the 14 institutions there working for the last day and a half in Birmingham are all set and everything is set for Mizzou and Texas A&M being part of the SEC in 2012. The SEC will come out with that schedule in the middle of next week.
Deaton: We made an application to the SEC after having phone calls of assurance from the Big 12 commissioner and chair of the board that it was okay to do that from their standpoint. We then, later on, got a call that said, “Oh, well, you know, we’re not sure because of this, that and the other because West Virginia might have difficulty.” I said to them, “Look, you set things in motion. We set things in motion. We’re continuing down this pathway. We feel certainly within our rights to do that within our bylaws.”
1. SEC fans will get an early Christmas present if the 2012 football schedule is released next week as Alden suggests. We were told by SEC PR man Charles Bloom just a couple of weeks ago that the league usually doesn’t release an “official” schedule until the spring, but clearly that was just a totally unnecessary smokescreen. Good thing we wrote at the time that the schedule would have to be rolled out sooner for the purposes of — ya know — ticket sales and travel plans.
2. Regardless of West Virginia’s efforts to exit the Big 12, it certainly seems that MU and SEC officials are confident the two parties will be wed in time for next season’s kickoff.