Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mizzou to the Big Ten?

More on the expansion of the Big Ten, and how it could effect Missouri:

Big Ten evaluating expansion to 12 teams

The Big Ten might be getting bigger.

The league said Tuesday it will explore options over the next 12 to 18 months for expansion. Big Ten presidents and chancellors decided this month that the timing is right to study adding a 12th school.

The Big Ten also looked at expansion in 1993, 1998 and 2003. Penn State was the last team to join in 1990, and Notre Dame rejected an offer in 1999.

The league, whose offices are in suburban Chicago, said no action on expansion is expected soon. It said it hopes to gather information before engaging in formal discussions with any schools.
. . .

"About every five years the Big Ten Conference explores the possibility of expansion," Illinois athletic Ron Guenther said in an e-mail to the AP. "Any expansion of the conference would obviously have to be a good fit academically, geographically and financially. If the Big Ten does make a change, I hope it will be as successful as the addition of Penn State."

Big Ten will mull expansion plans (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Missouri athletics director Mike Alden said Tuesday via e-mail that "there isn't really any story here for us" and noted Mizzou hasn't heard from other conferences.
Alden did not specify whether MU would be interested in joining the Big Ten. The conference said it would not engage "formal discussions with leaders of other institutions during the 12 to 18 months it will study the matter."
. . .
Longtime MU donor and former university curator Donald Walsworth said the only reason he could see joining the Big Ten is because of its television contract. But Walsworth doesn't believe that's compelling enough.

"I think Missouri is where it should be," he said. "Personally, I can't see it being an advantage to us. … I think our fans would just be livid."

Current curator David Wasinger, who is based in St. Louis, said he didn't know enough to "have any feeling on the subject yet." But he said it did not come up in last week's regular meeting. Neither did any discussion of discontent with the Big 12.

He did not expect any movement to be driven by the board.

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