In the past few months, there were people around and associated with Missouri who made no bones about the school being interested in the Big Ten and would pick up the phone if that conference came calling.
That did not sit well with some pretty powerful people connected to the Big 12, including Oklahoma State booster T. Boone Pickens, who publicly excoriated Mizzou Monday for their wandering eye.
“I’d just as soon Missouri leave,” Pickens said in an interview that also saw the OSU owner taking shots at Nebraska and the Pac-10. “[But] if Missouri stays, that’s fine. But I want them to shut up about trying to figure out someplace to go. They’re either a loyal member or they’re out with me.”
Following a press conference earlier Tuesday, Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton told the Kansas City Star that his university had nothing to apologize for.
“If we had something to apologize for, we might,” Deaton said. “But we’ve reflected on every step along the way. And said, ‘Could we have done different at anytime to improve upon the situation that we are now in, which we feel is a very good situation?’
“And the answer to that is no.”
Deaton also confirmed that at no time was there an offer on the table from the Big Ten. According to athletic director Mike Alden, that confirmation should’ve happened sooner, a misstep that is seemingly the only regret of the athletic department in this entire situation.
“By us not coming out and reinforcing the message that we have not received an offer from the Big Ten or that we needed to focus only on what we’re doing in the Big 12, certainly I can understand how that would fuel the desires and the angst of our fans,” Alden was quoted as saying by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“I think by not coming out firmly at that time, as other schools didn’t as well, I think that just continued to fuel the speculation. Yeah, I do. I think that’s part of the thing. … I don’t know if it’s necessarily a mistake. Maybe it is. But it’s just the unfortunate thing that happens in these type deals.”
At least eight of the 12 members of the conference flirted with at least one other conference, and some more than one, over the past couple of months. Missouri’s right; they have absolutely nothing to apologize for.
Unless any other school that took a peek up another conference’s skirt to see what goods they had to offer wants to apologize as well.