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Athletic Conference Affiliation

Statement from University of Missouri System Board of Curators Chairman Warren Erdman

“On behalf of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, let me thank you all for coming out tonight. And thanks to everyone affiliated with the university for your interest in this matter.

“Tonight I’m going to report to you on a unanimous action that was taken this evening by the University of Missouri Board of Curators, and that action is as follows:

“The Board of Curators delegates to Chancellor Deaton the authority to take any and all actions necessary to fully explore options for conference affiliation and contracts related thereto which best serve the interests of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Missouri System. This action was taken unanimously tonight and is effective immediately.

“I want to express the gratitude and the confidence that the Board of Curators has in Chancellor Deaton, and we express our gratitude to the entire staff for all they have done in preparing for this action. With that I would like to turn to Interim President Owens.”

Statement from University of Missouri System Interim President Steve Owens

“I’d like to put tonight’s action in context.  A little over a year ago, there was a lot of speculation regarding conference realignment.  That speculation prompted considerable discussion regarding universities and athletic conferences.  Missouri was right in the middle of that speculation, and for good reason.  The University of Missouri has excellent academics, it is an AAU research institution, and it has nationally ranked athletic teams.  We are in a central time zone, in a state with two major metropolitan areas, with no other Division I football team in the state.

“This year, speculation about realignment started up again.  And again, Missouri is considered a desirable member for many conferences.

“What brings us here tonight is that the Big 12 conference is now requesting its members to make binding, long-term and irrevocable commitments to the conference.  We don’t fault the Big 12 for requesting this of us and the other conference members.  It is something it should be doing to promote stability.  But, because we are currently faced with making a long-term commitment to the Big 12, now is the time to explore our options to fully understand where we are, before we lock into a long-term commitment with the Big 12.

“Under the University’s rules, the president and the board are in charge of changes in conference memberships.  Tonight we delegated to Chancellor Deaton the authority to take any and all actions necessary to fully explore options which best serve the interests of MU and the University of Missouri System.

“I fully support the delegation of authority to Chancellor Deaton.  He has proven himself to be a remarkably capable leader of the campus and its athletics interests.  His further action, which he will announce tonight, underscores his singular focus on what’s best for MU.  At the request of the board, I have agreed to work with him and assist him as, together, we explore what’s best for Missouri.”

Statement from MU Chancellor Brady J. Deaton

“I appreciate that the Board of Curators has granted me the authority to explore options related to the University of Missouri’s athletic conference affiliation, and I plan to work with Mike Alden, Steve Owens and others on our team to follow through expeditiously. To avoid any perceived or actual conflict of interest, I have relinquished my role as chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors in order to focus full time on MU’s best interests, and my Big 12 Board colleagues are fully informed of this. I continue to be grateful for the support of Tiger Nation in Missouri and around the world and will seek the best outcome for our student-athletes, Mizzou fans and our university.”

Click here to view a video of the Oct. 4 press conference courtesy of PowerMizzou.com.