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Missouri curators to meet amid conference issues

Missouri curators to meet amid conference issues

September 21st, 2011 in News

COLUMBIA (AP) - The Missouri Board of Curators has set a public meeting for Thursday morning followed by an executive session.

The meeting was scheduled after the Southeastern Conference issued a statement Tuesday saying it had not extended an invitation to Missouri to leave the fast-disintegrating Big 12, contradicting a media report.

The school said in a release the executive session would deal with, among other things, lease, contract, personnel and confidential or privileged communications with university counsel.

On Monday, boards of regents at Texas and Oklahoma voted to authorize their presidents to pick a new conference.

Oklahoma State's regents scheduled a special meeting for this afternoon about conference realignment.

University of Oklahoma president David Boren has said the two in-state rivals will remain in the same league whether they decide to stay in the Big 12 or join the Pac-12.

The Big 12 lost Nebraska and Colorado last summer and will lose Texas A&M if that school can resolve legal issues that have put a planned move to the SEC on hold.

Texas officials have said they're not interested in remaining in a Big 12 stripped of those other programs.

If all those schools depart, only five schools - Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri - would remain.

Officials from those five schools have been in contact with the remaining members of the Big East about the possibility of merging.

University of Missouri system spokeswoman Jennifer Hollingshead told the Columbia Tribune the curator's meeting "primarily has nothing to do with athletics." Hollingshead added the meeting could include an "update" on realignment, but said no formal announcement was expected.

Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel said Monday he was unaware of any developments, telling a reporter, "Really, you know as much as I do."

"I have a lot of opinions," Pinkel added, "but I have absolutely no control."

Late Tuesday night, the Birmingham (Ala.) News issued a contradicting report, saying plans are in place for Missouri to move to the SEC.