OU sources say Missouri departure would doom Big 12

With reports circulating that Texas A&M and Missouri are poised to jump to the SEC, Big 12 athletic directors will hold a teleconference Saturday to discuss what's left of their league. Oklahoma officials say a Missouri exodus would doom the conference.
by Berry Tramel Published: August 13, 2011

Missouri's departure from the Big 12 would effectively doom the conference, multiple OU sources said Saturday.

But OU and OSU officials said Saturday that they believe reports of Missouri's departure are untrue at this time.

Texas A&M regents have scheduled a meeting Monday to discuss conference affiliation, and the Aggies are expected to accept an invitation to the Southeastern Conference. A Fox Sports report Saturday said it is "likely" that Missouri would join A&M in the SEC.

The Big 12 already was down to 10 members, and while some league and school officials expressed hope that the conference could rebound from A&M's departure, such optimism does not exist if Missouri leaves also.

One OU official said he assumes that OU would move to the Pac 12 Conference, probably to be joined by Oklahoma State and Kansas among others.

An OSU official said, "no answers until we are dealing with facts."

Another OU official said it is important for the Sooners to leave their options open. OU officials spent Saturday trying to confirm Missouri's status.

The Big 12's athletic directors have scheduled a 3 p.m. CDT conference call with commissioner Dan Beebe to discuss the situation, multiple conference sources told ESPN.com.

"It is very important to keep all options open at this point to make the best long-term decision," an OU official told The Oklahoman. "No one can assume a specific direction can necessarily happen unless a number of things fall into place too.

"One wrong move and some possibilities would be eliminated."


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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