Realignment Today: Meeting of Big 12 presidents/chancellors set for today canceled. But why?
5:18 p.m. Update:
Great column here by Dennis Dodd, of CBS Sports, who examines just who the people behind the names on these oh-so-important boards of regents are these days.
Dodd paints a pretty unflattering picture of these people and their concern for college athletics. In doing so, he groups them all together in a sense. While he may be dead on about some of them and generally right about most, it's important to remember that the people on the various boards at each institution are not all like the people Dodd discusses in the column. Some of them do care about their universities beyond the dollars and prestige that come with them. Some of them are loyal and passionate and concerned about the future of college athletics.
But some of them are exactly the way Dodd portrays them and it's a great read. If nothing else it hammers home what a shame it is that these are the people calling the shots about whether or not great leagues like the Big 12, Big East and others will survive for years to come or simply disappear.
3:29 p.m. Update:
Still not much word on why today's meeting of Big 12 presidents and chancellors was canceled. The quiet nature of everything has me wondering if they "canceled it" officially and then went and held it anyway. We're at that point in this deal and I'm guessing that being able to conduct business out of the public eye would be a huge advantage for the Big 12 right now. Don't read too much into that, though. Merely a guess on my part.
One league source I did talk to a little bit ago said they were unsure about why the meeting was canceled but that it could've been something as simple as a scheduling snafu or any number of other reasons that, under normal circumstances, would've been completely acceptable and gone unnoticed.
One thing I was able to dig up was the agenda for OU's board of regents meeting scheduled for Monday night. Agenda Item #28 (how long is this thing gonna be) references, in no uncertain terms, conference alignment.
Here's the official wording:
The Board of Regents will discuss potential legal ramifications of athletic conference realignment options and/or consider new athletic conference membership and take any appropriate action. An executive session may be proposed pursuant to Section 307B.4 of the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act.
Things could be pretty quiet until then. But it's looking like Monday night and Tuesday could be big days.
2:01 p.m. Update:
With Mizzou chancellor Brady Deaton coming out and saying some pro-Big 12 lives things in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, many are wondering if Deaton, the current chairman of the Big 12 board of directors, is privy to some unknown information that may not have been leaked yet.
It's possible. Then again, it could be posturing. Missouri, like Kansas, is in favor of the Big 12 surviving. So Deaton saying anything other than positive stuff about the conference's future would be a detriment to his end goal. With that in mind, it's not all that surprising to hear his recent comments.
Now, having said all that, there could be a shred of truth — perhaps more — behind what Deaton's saying and it's possible that things have, yet again, swung in the Big 12's favor.
Still a long way to go before we know for sure. But here's a good take from a man who knows Deaton as well as anyone covering the Tigers, Mizzou's Rivals.com guy, Gabe DeArmond.
12:13 p.m. Update:
Here's something I stumbled upon that will help you pass the time while you wait for more news to come out. It's a choose-your-own-adventure of sorts regarding conference realignment. Pretty cool. And pretty interesting. Try it a few different times with a few different scenarios to see what happens.
Not saying it moves this thing along any, but, hey, at the rate we're going maybe this thing will end up being right. Either way, it's worth checking out.
Just click the blue "Start Now" links a couple times and you'll be on your way.
10:10 a.m. Update:
Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton tells Vahe Gregorian of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he believes there are plenty of reasons that the Big 12 will and should continue even if OU and Oklahoma State leave.
From the article: "If things change, we'll try to keep it together and move forward with other members," Deaton said. "I'm a little more optimistic certainly today than I was maybe a week ago, but that's based on the fact that I think good, careful reasoning and analysis of what's in the best interests of each of our institutions will continue to bind us together as a conference."
What's more Deaton says he's not convinced OU is leaving and he might not even believe that A&M's actually gone.
"They're full members of the conference until they are no longer members of the conference," Deaton said.
Great update. Take a look.
9:41 a.m. Update:
The big news of the day — at least at this point — is that the Big 12’s presidents and chancellors, who were scheduled to meet later to discuss conference realignment, have canceled that meeting.
Oh boy. Let the speculation begin.
The meeting had been on the books for a while and you can bet that, unlike previous meetings, there would’ve been some substance behind this one. One source told me earlier this week that, it was a real possibility that Oklahoma would make its intentions know to the conference and A&M could take a step closer to joining the SEC by the end of the meeting.
Now... Who knows.
The guessing game can go one of two ways here. Either the meeting has been canceled because these people are so far from seeing eye-to-eye that they can’t even be in the same room together for fear of some crazy explosion happening that makes headlines for other reasons. Or.... OU had made up its mind but then started having second thoughts after a last-ditch sales pitch from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe came their way the other day.
My guess? Well, my gut has been telling me all along that OU’s gone. So since, to me, that’s the most logical thing that could happen here, maybe I should go with the opposite. That’s the kind of circus we’re seeing right now and, at least for the immediate future, that’s the kind we’ll continue to see until somebody says something real.
Speaking of that, here’s a little more from The Daily Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel on why the Texas-to-the-ACC rumors may be a smoke screen.
Back to the phones to find out what I can about why today’s meeting was canceled.