COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri System Board of Curators met in a special session Sunday night, over teleconference, continuing its closed meeting regarding conference realignment that began Friday afternoon. That Friday meeting lasted for nearly three hours and included Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden.
Alden opted to call into the Sunday meeting. Missouri Media Relations director Chad Moller confirmed to Gabe DeArmond of powermizzou.com, through text message, that Alden was in Columbia on Sunday night.
The meeting lasted for an hour, and MU Chancellor Brady Deaton addressed the media after the meeting adjourned.
Deaton refused to comment on any "speculation" regarding conference realignment and Missouri, though he did say that he and the Board of Curators are "recently optimistic" after meeting with Alden.
Multiple reports say that current Big 12 Conference members Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas are on the verge of leaving the conference. Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott met with officials from each school this weekend. Colorado and Nebraska left the conference on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Deaton said that Missouri officials have remained in constant communication with other schools in the Big 12 and reaffirmed the school's public stance that Missouri is a "proud member" of the conference.
There is still a chance that the Big 12 remains intact with only 10 teams.
Orangebloods.com reported Sunday that Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe presented a proposal to the Pac-10 targeted schools that he hoped would keep them in the Big 12. That proposal reportedly included the freedom for each school to create its own television network (a concept that could be lucrative to Texas); a new television contract that would up conference payouts to $17 million per school; and an equal division of the total $20 million buyout that Colorado and Nebraska will have to pay for leaving the conference.
Until the next move in conference realignment is made, Deaton and the curators do not plan to meet. The next officially scheduled curators meeting is in July.
"We are fully committed to the Big 12. We are not going engage in further planning," Deaton said.
That next move could come on Tuesday morning, when the Univerity of Texas Board of Regents is scheduled to meet in Austin to discuss where Texas stands in conference realignment.
The fate of the Big 12 likely rests with the decisions that come out of that meeting in Austin.
The Missouri Board of Curators released a statement after the meeting:
"Amidst announced and speculative conference realignment moves by members of the Big 12, the University of Missouri Board of Curators met for an hour with university officials in closed session this evening via a teleconference call to continue their discussions from closed meetings last week.
"No action or vote was taken during the meeting, but board members again received information and legal advice from the university's general counsel. The board also considered contract obligations and related matters."