MU Chancellor Brady Deaton cancels trip to India

Monday, October 31, 2011 | 12:16 p.m. CDT; updated 9:23 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 31, 2011

COLUMBIA — The MU news bureau confirmed that Chancellor Brady Deaton has canceled his trip to Agra, India. The chancellor was supposed to depart Tuesday to attend a scientific conference Nov. 1 through 9.

MU spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken told the Associated Press on Monday that Deaton wasn't going because he had duties in his office that are more important.

MU is considering leaving the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference, and recent events have suggested that an official announcement could be the only thing keeping the move from being finalized.

A draft of an SEC web page welcoming Missouri to the conference was leaked Thursday night but was removed quickly and chalked up to an error by the SEC's Web vendor, XOS Digital.

Then, the Big 12 issued a release Friday, welcoming West Virginia to the conference. Part of that release said it expected to have 10 teams in the league for 2012-2013 and provided a list of those 10 schools. Missouri was not on that list.

Speculation mounted before the trip was canceled that Deaton's departure for India would mean Monday might be the day for an announcement.

Instead, Missouri fans will have to continue to wait with no indication of when this saga will reach its endpoint.

MU and Big 12 officials have steadfastly refused to comment on the timeline of the announcement. Last Tuesday, during a radio interview on KFRU, Deaton said it could be "days or a week or two."

During a teleconference Friday, interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas responded to a reporter's question about the topic by saying, "You're closer to it than I, sir."

When asked about the topic after Saturday's football game at Texas A&M, Athletics Director Mike Alden said, "You guys are asking me a question I don't have the answer to."

Until Missouri announces it has submitted a letter of withdrawal to the Big 12, the waiting will continue.

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