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Brady Deaton, board discuss Big 12's next move

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 | 3:15 p.m. CDT; updated 11:30 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 7, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Big 12 board of directors held a teleconference Wednesday afternoon during which it discussed Texas A&M's desire to join the Southeastern Conference, said Missouri Chancellor and board chairman Brady Deaton.

"It was gauging where we are, why the actions were taken by the SEC and as to where we stood," Deaton said. "I don't think we have any results to report on at this point of time as far as sharing information. Discussing perspectives is really what it was."

After the SEC released a statement Wednesday morning announcing it has unanimously voted to accept Texas A&M into the conference, Texas A&M wanted assurance from the remaining nine Big 12 schools that they would not sue the SEC. At least one school — reportedly Baylor — would not give its consent.

If and when Texas A&M does join the SEC, that conference will have 13 teams and will most likely look to add one more team.

Asked if Missouri has been in contact with other conferences, Deaton said, "There's so much discussion around the nation right now that I think there's probably not an institution in the Big 12 that has not been in discussions with other institutions.

"I don't think there's any process going on in terms of expansion, that's just my assessment of it."

In an official statement, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said that while the Big 12 board of directors accommodated Texas A&M and the SEC's request to waive any legal claims for "any damages suffered with a membership change," the waiver did not apply to individual schools.

"The waiver did not and could not bind the individual member institutions' governing boards to waive institutional rights," Beebe said. "If the departure of Texas A&M results in significant changes in Big 12 membership, several institutions may be severely affected after counting on revenue streams from contracts that were approved unanimously by our members, including Texas A&M. In some cases, members reasonably relied on such approval to embark on obligations that will cost millions of dollars."

Asked if the board discussed the legal threat posed by any of the schools, Deaton said he could not comment.

Last Friday, Missouri football head coach Gary Pinkel voiced his frustration with the Big 12. Deaton said Pinkel has been "very responsible with everything that he has said in that respect."

"I was aware of the comments he made and felt good about them," Deaton said. "We have full confidence in Coach Pinkel."


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Comments

Ellis Smith September 8, 2011 | 6:14 a.m.

Maybe it's time for the conference to court BYU in an attempt to return to 10 teams.

BYU has a measure of national athletic recognition; it was once a national champion in football.

And BYU sports fans don't get drunk and make fools of themselves at or after games. Mormons are forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages, and do not even drink coffee, tea or caffinated soft drinks.

[Mormons aren't supposed to use profanity either, but one Mormon engineer I know breaks that restriction on a regular basis. :)]

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