Kansas coach Bill Self expanded on his feelings about Missouri possibly leaving the conference for the SEC. Self spoke to reporters Thursday during Big 12 basketball media day.
The coach came closer than ever Thursday to saying, “Who needs ‘em?” if Missouri leaves. He even suggested that Kansas would lose money if it played a non-conference game against its biggest rival.
“If they leave, they leave. Big deal,” Self told reporters. “You know, we don't want 'em to but if they choose to do that, they do it.
“So from our standpoint, I don't think we're going to say, ‘Aw, geez, we've got to hurry up and schedule them. I don't think anybody would feel that way. I know I wouldn't and I don't think any of our fans would.”
“I’m not saying we will [play them]. I'm not saying we won’t. I'm just saying I'm not going to make a decision on that now. I may feel that we need to continue playing them, I may feel that we don't need to continue playing them.
“I know one thing. Texas made a pretty bold statement to A&M [about the continuation of that series]. I don't know if we're in the exact same boat as that, but I really believe that what we do will not be based on what other people want us to do. It will be based on basically what's best for our program.”
I then asked Self if he had to wet his finger and check which way the wind was blowing. In other words, was this a political decision?
Self basically said KU could conceivably lose money if it played Missouri in a non-conference game at the Sprint Center, home of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City.
“Here's the thing about that,” he said. “You play in the Sprint Center, you play Missouri. Great game. Now let's say you net $600,000 after you pay expenses to play that game. They take $300,000, we take $300,000.
“We make $500,000 playing a home game, so we just lost money. There would be a lot of different ways you could look at it
So getting $1 million total for a Missouri-Kansas game at the Sprint Center would be a “push” monetarily for Kansas?
“Maybe, yeah, yeah, maybe,” Self said.
“I want to make sure that I'm clear. I want Missouri to stay. It's best for our league if they stay. It's best for Kansas. It's best for other teams in our league if they stay.”
What about playing the conference tournament in Missouri with no team in the conference from Missouri?
“See, I think that’s also overrated on which side of the river ... I think it's Kansas City, you know, Kansas City ... I don't see that being a huge deal, where the building is located.”
Missouri's board of curators took no action Thursday during a regularly scheduled meeting on the Missouri-Kansas City campus. The school's next likely move would be to announce a formal withdrawl from the Big 12.