Officials From Missouri, Nebraska Tight-Lipped About Big 12 Deadline

Ryan FallerAnalyst IJune 6, 2010

If Big 12 power brokers have, indeed, given an ultimatum to Nebraska and Missouri , officials from both schools aren't acknowledging it.

Nor are they denying anything.

Speaking to the Kansas City Star , a spokesperson for Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton said Sunday that "there’s nothing else we can say than what we’ve told you before."

The spokesperson then concluded by reiterating the familiar mantra that is long overdue for being plastered on banners and hung from every corner and crevice across the MU campus.

“We’re a proud member of the Big 12 Conference.”

Similarly coy sentiments have since poured out of Lincoln, where Nebraska athletics director Tom Osborne told a local paper that reports of a pending deadline for the Huskers and Tigers to pledge allegiance to the Big 12 were news to him.

“I really don’t know what the final parameters are,” Osborne told the Lincoln Star-Journal . “I really can’t comment. The agreement when I left [the Big 12 meetings] Thursday was that [conference commissioner] Dan Beebe and [Texas president] William Powers would do the speaking.”

Osborne did, however, tell the paper Saturday night that "Eventually, all of the facts will come out."

As leaders from Missouri and Nebraska stay mum, you can bet there's plenty of squawking going on right now behind closed doors in Park Ridge, Illinois, where Big Ten presidents and chancellors are meeting with commissioner Jim Delany.

Delany said recently that no "earth-shattering announcements" will come of Sunday's meetings, but will the Big 12's ultimatum have any effect on the Big Ten's own deadline, which Delany insists has not been adjusted from its original length of 12 to 18 months?

Maybe. Maybe not. But when Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon, who doubles as the head of the Big Ten's Council of Presidents and Chancellors, takes the podium on Sunday following the meeting of the minds, people are going to demand answers .

Delany and his cohorts may hold steadfast to their timeline , but assuming all reports are true, how long will it take before anxiety gives way to panic and hungry mouths in Columbia and Lincoln begin to press Delany about whether they will be allowed sit at the Big Ten's table?

According to a report Saturday night by the Austin American-Statesman , the Big 12 has given Missouri and Nebraska a deadline of 5 p.m. CT on June 11 to decide whether to remain in the conference or seek membership elsewhere.

The report also stated that the deadline may be extended to June 15.