SEC commissioner says league not considering adding any other institutions; Big 12 athletic directors talking stability

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Whats it going to be Mizzou? Stay or go?
  • What's it going to be, Mizzou? Stay or go?
Questions remain about the University of Missouri's commitment to the Big 12, and the sooner those are answered, the better. However, SEC commissioner Mike Slive may have provided some answers on Tuesday.

Slive, in a conference call with reporters, said his league is not considering any other school for admission and has not received an application from an institution other than Texas A&M, which was officially accepted into the SEC earlier this week. This is sure to upset some Missouri fans who want to bail on the Big 12.

UPDATE: The Star is reporting that the Missouri Board of Curators will meet Tuesday with the "informed speculation" being that they'll discuss conference realignment. Business is about to pick up.

The Associated Press reported that Slive said the SEC is prepared to go forward with a 13-member league in 2012-13.

"We have not initiated any conversations with any institution," Slive said in a conference call.

The key phrase there is, "We have not initiated." Have other institutions been calling?

Slive also wouldn't discuss the possibility of adding a 14th member — Missouri has long been rumored as a candidate — saying, "We'll just see how the future plays out."

"I know there will be enormous speculation," Slive said. "There will be speculation about how we're going to schedule. There'll be speculation about whether we're going to go to 14, and if we go to 14, who's that going to be, how's that going to happen, when's that going to happen. They're all appropriate questions. We will deal with those on a timetable that works for us."

Meanwhile, the Big 12's athletic directors (yes, all nine of them) met in Texas to discuss stability.

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard, the chair of the Big 12 ADs, spoke for his colleagues, saying they were engaged in "healthy discussions" about how to expand the conference, the Associated Press reported.

"There's a lot of possibilities. It could be nine, it could be 10, it could be 12, it could be 16. Pick a number," Pollard said.

Pollard spoke of a process to stabilize the league, but he didn't give any specifics and called formal agreements "a work in progress." But Pollard gave a positive vibe, saying "all nine member institutions are fully engaged and committed" to getting those agreements done — which is likely the nine members granting their TV rights to the conference for the next six years.

"All I can say is, the people we were locking arms with in that room feel pretty committed to me," Pollard said. "I take people on their word. I'm not worried about it at all."

Billionaire Oklahoma State booster T. Boone Pickens also commented on Missouri's possible defection on Tuesday, saying, "We got a real problem" if Mizzou bolts. He didn't go into specifics, but a fourth defection after all of these supposed showings of unity would be damaging.

UPDATE II: As for expansion candidates, Jon Wilner's College Hotline says Boise State, Brigham Young, West Virginia and Louisville are in the running.

Wilner also breaks down why a Missouri-SEC marriage works:

Why would Missouri want to join the SEC?

Because of the long-term stability and because when the SEC signs a new TV deal — which cannot happen without expansion — then each school will likely receive $25 million-plus per year for TV rights.

Why would the SEC want Missouri?

Because it’s an Association of American Universities member and because there are 2 million TV homes in the state.

Mizzou would be the SEC’s fourth AAU school, in addition to Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Florida. (And don’t forget: UF president Bernie Machen chairs the SEC’s executive board.)

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