On Monday night, the New York Times reported that sources at Missouri are indicating that the school's decision to apply for membership in the SEC is "inevitable and imminent.'' If that's the case, the Big 12 will eventually have to move to replace the Tigers, although interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas is on record as saying he believes Missouri will be a part of the Big 12 in 2012 regardless of any decision to leave and so expansion decisions do not need to be immediate.
If Missouri does leave the Big 12, the conference would then have to decide whether to simply replace the Tigers and stay at 10 members or use the opportunity to expand to 12, which would enable the league to re-establish its football championship game.
If the Big 12 follows the latter course, both Louisville and West Virginia could be targets, along with BYU and perhaps Cincinnati instead of one of the other three.
In order to pass, the exit fee proposal needed to garner votes from 11 of the 14 member schools. That number did not include Pitt and Syracuse, which have announced plans to leave the Big East for the ACC.
The increased exit fee apparently would apply only to the league's FBS football-playing members - WVU, Connecticut, Rutgers, South Florida, Cincinnati and Louisville, as well as any new members who join. The Big East's eight members who do not play FBS-level football would still be subject to a $5 million exit fee. Those schools are Georgetown, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Marquette, DePaul, Villanova and Notre Dame.
The Big East's current by-laws call for a $5 million exit fee and a 27-month waiting period before schools can leave the conference. The 27-month waiting period was not an issue on the table in Monday night's vote.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.