The University of Nebraska has made it official. It is applying to make the move to the Big Ten, and expects to be accepted. This comes a day after the University of Colorado confirms a move to the PAC 10. So with the Big XII all but assured a collapse, where does this leave Missouri?
The new Interim Commissioner of Higher Education in the state, David Russell, was a part of the MU Curators meetings in Columbia, continuing through Nebraska’s announcement Friday.
“I suppose you’d like me to give you the standard language, ‘that we remain a loyal member of the Big XII Conference and are looking forward to a bright future.’ Everything seems to be in play, it changes by the hour. Had we been very vocal about details a week or two ago, all of that would have been totally invalidated by now. There are changes occurring that even we had not anticipated. All I can tell you is that our leadership at the University of Missouri-Columbia remains very much on top of this national discussion. A lot of exchanges are going on, a lot of sharing of ideas. It’s gonna shake out eventually, but it’s hard for us to tell when all these ideas are going to shake out,” Russell said.
MU Athletic Director Mike Alden echoes that sentiment.
“I can assure you we’re not operating with our heads in the sand. We’re working very hard, we’re very diligent, we are very focused on the issues at hand at trying to operate in a tremendously dynamic and fluid environment that’s changing on a regular basis,” Alden said
During the official announcement Friday, University of Nebraska leaders said they felt ‘vulnerable’ after reports as far back as last year that Mizzou and Colorado were considering leaving the Big XII. They said that prompted the Cornhuskers to start talks with the Big Ten. Alden says if the Big XII collapses, it’s not right to put the blame on Mizzou.
“I’ve heard that suggestion out there, and I’ll tell you, that’s ridiculous. That is silly and when folks out there are trying to suggest that Mizzou was a focal point to be able to start discussions, that is just, seriously that is ridiculous and that is silly,” Alden said.
When asked point blank if Missouri was potentially moving to the Big Ten at some point, University of Missouri system President Gary Forsee refused to speculate.