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Oklahoma, Texas And Texas Tech Waive Rights To Sue The SEC; Mizzou’s Still The Most Interesting Case

Yesterday it was reported that Oklahoma had waived its right to sue Texas A&M and the SEC — as requested by the SEC.  Today, ESPN.com’s Andy Katz and Joe Schad report that Texas has also said that it has waived its right to sue.

In addition, Texas Tech has apparently waived its right, too.  A Red Raider spokesperson said: “Texas Tech is not involved in any legal action against Texas A&M, the SEC or any other parties.  Texas Tech has no intentions whatsoever of being involved in any future lawsuits against Texas A&M, the SEC or SEC commissioner Mike Slive.”

In other words, most of the schools coveted by other leagues — namely the Pac-12 — aren’t in on the whole threatened lawsuit thing because they don’t want to find themselves staring down the barrel of a comparable lawsuit down the road.

Oklahoma State is the only school rumored to be a possible Pac-12 addition that hasn’t waived its right to litigate.  Mega-booster T. Boone Pickens has stated that he believes the Big 12 will be dead in five years, but he’s also said that he prefer it stay alive.  At OSU, Pickens has a large influence on what goes on… and his desire to save the Big 12 might explain why OSU isn’t waiving its rights a la OU, UT and TTU.

Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri are the remaining schools that have not waived their rights.  Mizzou’s case is the most interesting.

Chancellor Brady Deaton has to look out for UM’s best interests, obviously.  Earlier this week he pretty much admitted that everyone in the Big 12 — including Missouri — has been talking to other schools and other conferences about possible realignment.

At the same time, Deaton is the chairman of the Big 12 board of directors.  So while looking out for Mizzou’s long-term security, he must also appear to be pro-Big 12.  That would be your Grade A conflict of interest, folks.

But by not waiving his schools right to sue the SEC, Deaton may be hurting his school’s chances of landing in that very league.  As we pointed out in our lengthy “Expounding on Expansion” series last summer, Missouri is a better fit with the SEC than most think.  It’s home state borders three current SEC states.  It brings in two major television markets.  It has a sizable population, good sports, good academics and it expands the SEC’s footprint.  Win, win, win, win, win and win.

But there are some (many, in fact) connected to the University of Missouri who believe the Tigers still dream of someday landing in the more Midwestern, more academically-respected Big Ten.

While no one knows what conversations are being had between Mizzou and SEC representatives behind closed doors — and we mean no one — if Deaton wants to save the Big 12, avoid the SEC and wait for a Big Ten bid down the road… refusing to waive his school’s right to sue the SEC is certainly a good way of going about it.

 


20 comments
Janson Roberts
Janson Roberts

I think we are going to need some patience my SEC brethren. It is a forgone conclusion that we have a new member in our club. Yesterday I was ticked off for what was happening. Today, I can see why those BIG 9 schools are only doing what they can to try to save their status and their money. Do I like what they are doing? Heck no. But I can understand. Bottom line, we are going to have to find a little more patience until the smoke can clear a little. OU and the PAC aren't going to drag this out for the entire season. Sooner than later( no pun intended) OU will have to show its hand on what their future plans are. Again, I don't like this, but we are a strong conference. We know our path and can afford to wait a little bit longer to break out the band and the festivities. In the meantime, we have some business on the fields to take care of. Sorry Gamehens, you know the Dawgs own you. And Bama boys, you better Roll saturday, I have an investment that will reap very nicely if you beating those dam* yankees from Penn State.

Bob Magee
Bob Magee

As a Texas Aggie, Class of 1980

I would like to thank those who are supporting our efforts to join the SEC. I know it is distracting and a real pain-in-the-***'. Like you, I am personally exhausted by the activities of the past few weeks. What I can tell you, is that once the smoke clears, we will be supportive and proud members of the SEC.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

THere is also another report going around the internet tonight about the SEC adding Oklahoma, West Virginia, and USF. THat's very interesting. I don't know if I buy into it. That would be wild if the SEC came out and took all four schools.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

I'm sure the sec is busy doing something about this as we chat on here. They're going to be smart about it though. You don't come out of the first day after this crap and say something that makes you look bad. I wouldn't be shocked to hear something from the sec on Friday or Monday.

viciousdawg
viciousdawg

The SEC should just man up and tell the Big 12 they are taking A&M and that no court would ever rule against them because the conference went by the book. Its time someone told Texas and their little grunts where to stick it.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Yeah. Man up. Right. The Big East sued the ACC, kept them tied up in court for 2 years - legal fees and all that - and ultimately wound up settling for $5 million, and this was with the Big East suffering only minor financial harm (their already bad TV deal got downgraded). The SEC does not want to be on the hook for any portion of the $1.17 billion that Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor and Missouri were going to get. That is why they will only ACCEPT Texas A&M AFTER the Aggies make a clean, free exit from the Big 12, not "take" them while they are still in the Big 12 and fighting it out in court.

Get this: the SEC isn't stupid. After A&M leaves, Texas and Oklahoma are going to claim that they left because A&M left, and the Pac-12 and Big East will say that they only took the Big 12 teams after the conference was dead already (because from what I have read, the TV contracts automatically void if the membership drops below 10). The other schools and conferences are trying to transfer the bulk of the legal responsibility of a breach of TV contract suit over like the $500 million that were going to the 5 schools that were left out to the SEC and A&M, and you are telling them to "man up."

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

Is it just me or are we all missing the point. The sec is smart. They're not going to let Baylor stop them. But if you're the SEC, why not wait and see what OU and Texas does? We know OU is looking. If they go to the PAC 12 with OSU, THat's 3 schools from the Big 12 the pac 12 has taken in two years. The Big 10 took a school. If that forces Texas and other schools to go, what can Baylor really do to the Aggies? The sec took one team, in the 5th or 6th order? Good luck of that holding up in court. So I think the Aggies will be in the SEC. They're just not going to have a party before it happens.

Dewayne
Dewayne

I agree and if Texas and Tech decides to leave as well that will be 3 Texas schools lined up against 1. I don't know a lot about this but if the legislature gets involved Baylor will probably be outnumbered. Did these schools and OU not sign contracts as well. Will Baylor try to sue the Pac, UT, Tech, A&M and the SEC?

UofA72
UofA72

The Missouri president is in a bad position. He's chariman of the expansion committee. If he signs the waiver at this point it could be a conflict of interest, setting MU up for a suit later on.

His earlier statement that multiple Big 12 schools have been in contact with multiple conferences probably indicates MU has as well. I agree with Mizz SEC. If there has been communication, and MU has SEC leanings, it has to be completely quiet right now.

As an Arkansas alumn, I'm hoping MU joins us. I guarantee they will like it better than being in a conference with Texas-unless they secretly like being bullied, manipulated, and lied to. Didn't think so.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

Mizzou could easily lead the charge and take the high road. They could say we are waiving our rights to sue because we want the conference to move forward. A&M wants to leave, and no one wants to be in a relationship where one of the party does not want to be there. So in order for the B12 to move forward, we release A&M. This will allow the B12 to focus on the schools that want to be here and join us in stregthening a great conference. This plays nice with A&M and the SEC, but also shows that (for now) Mizzou is focused on the B12 and the future of the B12 and not just the future for Mizzou. It also sets a mature example for the other schools to follow. Will this happen? Nope. We already know that the members of the B12 are not mature enough to do something this responsible.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

"They could say we are waiving our rights to sue because we want the conference to move forward."

Move forward to extinction?

"A&M wants to leave, and no one wants to be in a relationship where one of the party does not want to be there."

Ummm ... Missouri doesn't want to be in the Big 12 either. They'd join the Big 10 tomorrow if given the opportunity. Also, A&M and Texas never wanted to join the Big 12 in the first place. Colorado and Nebraska have been trying to leave the Big 12 for years.

"So in order for the B12 to move forward, we release A&M. This will allow the B12 to focus on the schools that want to be here and join us in stregthening a great conference."

See above. The conference would move forward to its death. OU, OSU, Texas and Texas Tech would leave, the ESPN and Fox contracts would void, and the Big 12 would be 3 teams below the 8 required by the NCAA to exist as a conference.

"This plays nice with A&M and the SEC, but also shows that (for now) Mizzou is focused on the B12 and the future of the B12 and not just the future for Mizzou."

The Big 12 would have no future. See above.

"It also sets a mature example for the other schools to follow."

A mature example of cravenly lying through your teeth? Of claiming to be doing what is best for everyone involved when you are actually selling out Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor so that you can preserve the mere possibility of an SEC invite down the line?

"We already know that the members of the B12 are not mature enough to do something this responsible."

Yeah. They are not mature enough to see the great advantages in self-destruction.

Look, the schools that are getting left behind have two positions.
1. We prefer that the Big 12 survives because it is in our own best interests.
2. If the Big 12 is not going to survive, then at the very least we want to get at least some of the millions that was going to come our way because it is in our own best interests.

Why is everyone expecting these schools to act in anyone's interests but their own? Why is it that only A&M, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State get to do so?

Gerald
Gerald

I think Mizzou is too afraid that before long there isn't going to be a B12 to be a part of. Mizzou can't be concerned about the future of the B12 when there almost certainly isn't going to be one.

MU'97
MU'97

That article quotes a TT spokesperson disclaiming any present intention to sue, but then jumps to the conclusion that they have waived (i.e., signed a waiver) their right to sue. Two different things, and the conflation calls into question the writer's conclusion that Texas has signed a waiver.

I might be wrong, but my latest understanding was that Texas, Texas Tech and Missouri are all in the same place: disclaiming any present intent to sue the SEC or A & M, but declining to execute a written waiver of these rights. Which is not crazy; A & M has yet to negotiate or pay its exit fees, and the waiver is a valuable bargaining chip for that process.

Moreover, after what reportedly happened to Missouri last year, there is no reason for it to leave itself exposed in the event the SEC holds off on 14, picks W.Va., etc. Missouri, I am sure, would gladly execute this wiaver as a condition of its acceptance into the SEC. From what little I hear, Missouri remains very much interested in the SEC as its favored landing spot, but it is not willing to blindly trust that it won't be left behind. Nor should it.

wcfieldhouse
wcfieldhouse

I think a lot of schools are in the same boat...Kansas University, which, through a statement from Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little’s office:

“We are not planning litigation,” the statement said. “But we have not waived our legal rights in this matter.”

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

If the SEC and Mizzou are actually having backdoor discussions, I can't believe they would be making this move without "clearing the air" with Slive and the SEC. Maybe Mizzou is concerned (and his communicated this to the SEC), that waiving his right while the other schools are not could look terrible if Mizzou ends up in the SEC? I wouldn't read too much into this.

Jill
Jill

How come when Baylor holds out the possibility of a lawsuit, it's holding aTm hostage, but when Mizzou does it, they are "just looking out for their own best interest"?

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

+1

(However, Baylor isn't doing themselves any favors with their propaganda machine.)

mith242
mith242

Yeah seems to me Missouri is playing a dangerous game. They already had the huge fiasco trying to get into the Big Ten. Sounds like they're still putting all their eggs in that basket. The only thing I can think of is that they're hoping everyone goes to 16 team super conferences. That way they'll finally get another shot at the Big Ten. But if for some reason the Big Ten went another direction Missouri is really screwed. They aren't making any friends at the SEC so far.

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

Not making friends with the SEC? They haven't actually done anything. Our President is acting chairman of the Big 12 right now and can't go rogue against the conference right now or he puts himself and the university in potential legal issues - just what the SEC is trying to avoid with Baylor.

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