Missouri's departure from the Big 12 to the SEC is "inevitable and imminent," the New York Times reported Monday night, but Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas told CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd "I guess we'll wait and see."
"I have not heard anything different," Neinas told CBSSports.com. "I really have no comment. I have not heard anything. I have not read the New York Times story. That's all I can tell you."The Times, quoting a college official with direct knowledge of the situation, said no specific timetable has been set. However, Missouri’s Board of Curators will meet on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo., where the process of withdrawing from the Big 12 and applying to the SEC is expected to begin, the Times reported.
Neinas told Dodd he understood the Board of Curators meeting were "regularly scheduled meetings, not a special meeting," Neinas said. "They're looking for a new systems president."
On Saturday, Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis told CBSSports.com Big 12 officials did not know whether Missouri would stay in the Big 12.
Hargis also told CBSSports.com the league's presidents would engage in "serious conversations" in the next two weeks whether to remain at 10 schools or return to 12 schools. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma prefer 12 members, while Texas prefers 10 members. However, officials from all three schools stress they just want the best model that assures long-term stability.
Neinas said recently that Missouri would remain in the league in 2012, no matter what the Tigers decision was regarding the SEC. However, a source told CBSSports.com last week that it was still "very possible" if Missouri left the Big 12, it could begin play in the SEC next season along with Texas A&M.
Neinas said last week he told SEC commissioner Mike Slive “if you’re going to extend an invitation to Missouri please let me know.”
Missouri's decision to leave for the SEC could have a major impact on the Big East Conference, whose presidents and chancellors were scheduled to hold an 8 p.m. teleconference to approve an increase in its exit fees from $5 million to $10 million.
Louisville and West Virginia would be leading candidates for the Big 12, but league sources told CBSSports.com Monday afternoon both schools would support increasing the league's exit fees. That was, however, before the Times' report Monday night that Missouri was headed to the SEC.