COLUMBIA — Big 12 university administrators contacted Monday would neither confirm or deny reports that the conference has given MU and Nebraska a deadline for deciding whether they will leave the conference for the Big Ten.
The Missourian tried to contact the presidents of every school in the Big 12 — both by phone and by e-mail — but was either rejected or given no comment. An article published Saturday in the Austin American-Statesman reported that the Big 12 directed the two schools to declare soon whether they want to stay in the Big 12.
The Austin newspaper cited two anonymous sources. One said the deadline for deciding is Friday; the other said the deadline might not be for two more weeks.
The Austin report caught fire among bloggers. But there was little other evidence to suggest whether the Big 12 actually made the deadline. The office of Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe declined to comment.
Regarding the potential deadline, the chancellor’s office at MU issued the same response it has given since talks first started about switching conferences: "The University of Missouri is receiving numerous inquiries related to public speculation about conference membership. MU is a member of the Big 12 Conference and will not respond to speculation about conference realignment. Mizzou continues to be grateful for all the interest shown in and support for the university."
Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda declined to elaborate on the speculation, saying he had no comment at this time in regard to a Big 12 decision deadline.
Other news sources reporting on this topic include:
- KBIA 91.3 "Intersection" a talk show hosted by Reuben Stern, featured a discussion with Columbia Missourian Sports Editor Greg Bowers and KBIA Sports Director Darren Hellwege.