Longtime Kansas City radio and television personality Kevin Kietzman, citing “multiple sources,” reported today that the Big Ten has officially extended an invitation to Missouri to join the conference.
The WHB-AM afternoon talk show host also reported that Nebraska, Notre Dame and Rutgers have been offered spots in the league.
On Missouri, Kietzman has specific details:
In order for the University of Missouri to join the Big Ten, the Missouri Board of Regents will still have to approve the move. Sources close to the governing body say the Big Ten has told officials that Mizzou could add $1.3 million per month in revenue to the lucrative Big Ten Television Network.
Big Ten representatives have also told Missouri officials they would like to have the entire expansion process wrapped up this summer with a formal announcement coming no later than July.
(Missouri) will have to pay a stiff penalty to leave the Big 12. The Big 12 charter states any member will lose between 50 and 100 percent of its shared annual revenue depending on the length of notice any school gives. According to sources, it seems likely Missouri would give one- year notice.
It is projected that Missouri’s football revenues would increase by $10 million or more per year when it joins the Big Ten versus what it currently receives in the Big 12.
While Kietzman isn’t nearly as specific about Nebraska’s move, it wouldn’t surprise me if his invitation claims about the two Big 12 schools is true.
Kietzman offers some additional details on Rutgers and Notre Dame, which is likely coming from a Missouri source:
While nothing can be approved until the Big Ten presidents and chancellors meet the first week of June in Chicago, the league has informed the two Big 12 schools, Notre Dame and Rutgers that it would like to have them join.
It is not yet clear whether the Big Ten will expand to 14 or 16 teams but sources indicated Missouri and Nebraska are invited in either scenario. Notre Dame has repeatedly declined the opportunity to join the Big Ten.
If Notre Dame remains independent, Rutgers would be the 14th team. The Big Ten would then decide whether to stop at 14 or extend offers to two other schools. If Notre Dame joins, sources say an offer will be extended to one other school making it a 16-team league.
The Big Ten school presidents and chancellors will meet the first week of June to sort out the expansion issue. I’ve been wary about diving into expansion speculation scenarios but Kietzman is plugged into the Mizzou program as much as any media member in the state.
Vahe Gregorian of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH reports Missouri released a generic statement in response to Kietzman’s WHB report:
“The University of Missouri is receiving numerous inquiries related to public speculation about conference membership. MU is a member of the Big 12 Conference and will not respond to speculation about conference realignment. Mizzou continues to be grateful for all the interest shown in and support for the university.”
Recently the school has offered that exact statement as a response to all media inquiries about the possibility of Missouri jumping to the Big Ten.
So, what could the Big 12 offer Mizzou to stay?
That question has allegedly already been answered.