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Decreases In State Funding Led Mizzou To The SEC

There was never any question that the lure of bigger dollars helped sway Missouri toward the SEC.  Yes, the Big 12 was and is as fragile as a Faberge egg.  Sure the football is better Down South.  But in reality, budget cuts in the state of Missouri played as big a role as anything in Mizzou’s decision to pack up and switch conferences.

The Kansas City Star obtained a copy of the school’s application to the SEC — it mentions a July 1st, 2012 entry — and in the application, president Brady Deaton said mentioned that decreases in state funding for MU was leading to increased recruiting or out-of-state students who pay higher tuition.

Speaking with the press yesterday, Deaton said:

“Had state funding stayed up and we were in real solid shape financially, there would still be the issues that we were dealing with trying to gain some sense of stability and surety with the Big 12.  But the fact that there was pressure financially there, certainly accentuated our attention to that set of issues.

Looking at more stable and perhaps lucrative long-term conference alignment, the attractiveness was enhanced by the financial uncertainty that we were facing.”

Given the cuts Missouri faced, Deaten said MU “simply cannot ask our students and taxpayers to provide the kind of funding need by a major athletic program.”

Missouri’s board of curators has been pushing for the school’s athletic department to become financially self-sufficient.

Deaton also said that Mizzou expects to make up to $4 million more annually through the SEC’s television delas “with some possibility that it could be even greater than that.”

Two things come to mind from this:

1.  No wonder Missouri is working hard to negotiate down its Big 12 exit fees.

2.  Deaton speaking about this matter so publicly might cool the tempers of those Tiger fans who didn’t want to switch leagues.



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