KANSAS CITY — The head of the University of Missouri is giving no assurances that the Tigers intend to remain in the Big 12.
Chancellor Brady Deaton said Missouri remains a proud member of the Big 12, but "we're going to do what's best for our institution."
"We're not shutting our ears to anything," Deaton said, as he walked into a meeting of Big 12 presidents. "I'm sure every school here has a responsibility to its own institution as primary responsibility. Conference realignment is something we do for our athletic programs. That's what we're working on right now."
Big 12 commissioner Don Beebe has repeatedly said he wants to know which Big 12 member schools are committed to remaining the league. So far, that's been a difficult task.
Nebraska and Missouri have both indicated they might be interested if the more lucrative Big Ten Conference decides to expand, a move it is studying. And that has led to speculation that Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas might bolt for the Big Ten or elsewhere. The Pac-10 holds its spring meetings this weekend in San Francisco.
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said this week he hoped some resolution to the whole question of conference realignment might be arrived at by the presidents this week, but that was not expected by most attendees.
"We're not making any comments about all the speculation about conferences," Deaton said. "What we're doing right now is what's best for Missouri, and we'll continue to look at all the resources as we look to the future and all alignments."
The Big 12 meetings end Friday.