The Big 12 Conference board of directors announced Monday morning the adoption of "a position to equally distribute all conference related distributable revenue to include Tier I and II football television, men's basketball television and NCAA men's basketball tournament revenues."
With a significant caveat.
"This action becomes effective after each member institution commits a grant of rights to the conference for its Tier I and II television rights for at least six years," the conference said in a statement, adding, "It is recognized by the board that each member is directed by institutional policy relative to pursuing its grant of rights and that process will commence expeditiously at the institutional level."
Tiers I and II refer to major network and cable package levels. Tier III would be each school's rights to its own institutional platform, which includes the controversial Longhorn Network. A grant of rights for six years would mean that an institution's share of that revenue would continue to go to the Big 12 for that six -year period even if it left.
The statement comes as Mizzou's board of curators is to meet Tuesday in St. Louis, starting at noon with a closed session beginning at 4, logically to discuss issues relating to a potential shift in conference alignment and the latest action of the Big 12 board.
The Southeastern Conference and Missouri have been making eyes at each other.
According to Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, MU chancellor Brady Deaton recused himself from an unspecified part of a Sunday teleconference among Big 12 CEOs upon advice of legal counsel.
Neinas said Deaton still is chairman of the Big 12 board, and Neinas still projected optimism about MU staying. He plans to visit Columbia this week.
He touted not only Mizzou's tradition in the conference (and predecessors from the Big Six through Big Eight) but also the Big 12's importance to the state of Missouri, noting the history and future of the basketball tournaments in Kansas City. Neinas also referred to the significance of MU's rivalry with Kansas and said it's easier for "John Q. Fan" to get around the Big 12 than it would be the SEC.
"Besides," he added, "Missouri is midwestern, not southern."
Neinas also said the conference expansion committee has been fully re-engaged, although he noted there remains no plurality among athletics directors about the best number of schools for the conference, which with no other defections or additions would be at nine next school year.