And by Wednesday morning, WVU officials who were quite willing to discuss the move to the Big 12 off the record on Tuesday had clammed up.
"I'm not talking today,'' said one highly-placed source at the school.
When asked if that signaled trouble with the move to the Big 12, he simply repeated himself.
"I'm not talking today,'' he said before hanging up the phone.
How much of an about-face the Big 12 will do is unknown. A majority of the presidents might still be in favor of West Virginia or perhaps McConnell's influence has reached deeper. It could be next Monday before anyone knows. That's when the league's board of directors (the presidents) is scheduled to meet again.
Even if the push for Louisville isn't strong enough to elevate the Cardinals above WVU in the Big 12's pecking order, it seems logical that the conference could simply be slowing down the process because it had gone too far too fast. Missouri is widely believed to be leaving the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference and the league wanted to be proactive and have a replacement at the ready. On Monday, those same presidents approved West Virginia as the replacement.
But Missouri has yet to officially inform the Big 12 it is leaving. Still, sources at West Virginia indicated Tuesday that Missouri's ultimate decision did not matter, that WVU was going to be added as either a replacement or an addition.
The Big 12 board of directors, while reportedly unanimous in their support of West Virginia on Monday, never took a formal vote to invite the school. It was merely an endorsement of an expansion plan with which the league's staff could work.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.