It became official on Sunday. In a statement released by South Eastern Conference officials, university presidents and chancellors agreed unanimously to admit Missouri into the SEC conference starting July 1, 2012.
“The University of Missouri is a prestigious academic institution with a strong athletic tradition and a culture similar to out current institution,” Florida President Bernie Machen said in a statement.
Missouri will be leaving the Big 12, a conference it joined in 1907 as a founding member when it was originally dubbed the Big Eight.
“In joining the SEC, MU partners with universities distinguished for their academic programs and their emphasis on student success,” said Missouri Chancellor Brady J. Deaton. “The SEC will provide out student-athletes with top-flight competition and unparalleled visibility.”
Previously, I explained how it was up to Chancellor Deaton whether or not Missouri would make the move. As of two weeks ago, neither Mizzou nor SEC had made any decision on the move. I guess somewhere along the line, that changed.
The SEC will now increases its size to 14 teams.
The Big 12 initially gave some pushback to Missouri’s jumping ship, but the conference is now smiling and satisfied with the addition of West Virginia University. Filling the hole the Tigers left with the Mountaineers conveniently gives the Big 12 a tenth member and allows the fulfillment of its television contract.
Despite all the moves being made by different schools, the Big East has been the only league adamant about enforcing the its 27-month notification period for leaving the conference. Sticking to their guns, the Big East is looking to hold WVU, Syracuse and Pitt in the fold for the next two years. This situation has dissolved into a messy legal situation between the West Virginia and the Big East.
Missouri must be smiling and satisfied with its clean break and that it avoided any legal nonsense. Now it can get onto the important stuff: Making money.