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Clarkson – SEC’s #7 Scorer This Season – Leaves Missouri For The Pros

Jordan+Clarkson+2013+Continental+Tire+Las+VFczzADmhfulJordan Clarkson averaged 17.5 points per game for Missouri last season.  The guard who’d transferred in from Tulsa wound up #7 on the SEC scoring list this season.  But he won’t be back for his senior year.

Clarkson’s father, Mike, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch yesterday that his son will turn pro and is planning to sign with an agent, which would make a return to Mizzou an impossibility.  The elder Clarkson is battling cancer and it’s believed his diagnosis led to an uneven performance from his son as the Tigers finished up their season.

The younger Clarkson said:

 

“It’s hard to find the right words to say because this coaching staff, my teammates, this school and these fans have been so incredible to me during my two years here at Mizzou.  Obviously this was not an easy decision for me and my family, but it felt like the right time to take this step in my career, especially with graduation this spring.”

 

Missouri might also lose the SEC’s top scorer in Jabari Brown.  The junior who averaged 19.9 points per game for the Tigers this season is mulling the possibility of an early exit to the NBA as well.

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Big Ten Per-School Payout Tops $25 Million

money_treeAccording to figures obtained from the University of Illinois by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Big Ten teams will see their annual revenue checks from the conference office cross the $25 million barrier this year.  That makes the Big Ten, once again, the biggest of the big money leagues in college athletics.

The Post-Dispatch reports that Illinois will make $25.7 million this year with $7.6 million of that coming from the league’s Big Ten Network (which is co-owned by FOX).  Last year, Illinois received $24.6 million with $8.1 million coming from the channel.

According to the math done by The Post-Dispatch, if the $7.6 million projection is correct, schools in the league “will have collected $42.5 million from the venture” over its six-year lifespan.

As we first wrote last fall — and as USA Today then followed up with January — SEC schools are expected to make between $30-35 million once its new network, the new playoff system, and the league’s new bowl lineup kick off over the next couple of years.  Currently, SEC schools make in the $20-21 million range.

Like the SEC, Big Ten schools will also see a boost from the new playoff and from their own league’s new bowl deals.  The Big Ten Network will also benefit from recent expansion moves stretching the league into Maryland, the District of Columbia, New York and New Jersey.

The bottom line on bottom lines is this — In 10 years, the SEC and Big Ten will still be neck-and-neck with each other and leading the way in revenue… well ahead of any other conferences.

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Mizzou A.D. Alden On Expansion, Football, The NCAA, And Former Big 12 Rivals

gfx - they said itNearing the finish line of the first academic year in the SEC, Missouri A.D. Mike Alden gave an interview to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that covers a variety of issues.  Alden had plenty to say on everything from expansion to renewing ancient rivalries.

1. Why he believes the immediate future of the SEC is 14 teams

 

“The goal there is to continue to improve that brand, and I think they can do that with the 14 institutions that they have. “But the one thing commissioner (Mike Slive) always says is, ‘We can’t sit back on our laurels.’ ”

 

An additional league-wide note. While not quoted in the story on the topic, Alden told the paper going from an eight-game conference schedule to a nine-game schedule is still being debated.

 

2.  On the importance of football and Missouri’s 5-7  record in 2012

 

“That’s the reality of college athletics. How are you utilizing that asset of football? … That’s our key…

“That was challenging to our fans to see that. … We don’t want to become accustomed to something like that. We’re used to bowl games and used to winning games, and I’m confident we’ll get back in there as we head into the 2013 season.”

 

3. The NCAA case against Miami, the former employer of Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith

 

“Just following that pattern and seeing where it currently is, certainly it gives us confidence in Frank. We’ve always had a lot of confidence in Frank, but it just reinforces for us a lot of the things that we’ve always seen in him.”

 

Asked if the NCAA’s credibility was at stake, Alden replied, “Yes, yes, and not just in the Miami case.”

 

4. Resuming competition with former Big 12 opponents

 

“We have relationships with all of those people in the Big 12. So I think once the dust settles on the move — it is settling; it hasn’t settled yet — I think there’s going to be more opportunity for us to schedule one another.

“I also think the relationship with the SEC and the Big 12, whether it has to do with the bowl game (the leagues have formed) or whether it has to do with a basketball challenge that we’re working on right now, those types of things are also going to help that.”

 

5. Missouri’s standing offer to resume the rivalry with Kansas

 

And we’re going to keep it there. We will keep it there. With (KU chancellor) Bernadette Gray-Little, I know (MU chancellor Brady) Deaton has done that. I certainly have done that on several occasions with (Kansas AD Sheahon Zenger).

“And we understand that Kansas, who we have a high respect for, they need to make that decision. We understand that. We’ll be patient on that, because we do think that the opportunity to compete against one another, that’s a generational thing. …

“The immediacy of leaving the league is, ‘We’re ticked,’ but the long-term play is this is a generational opponent and why wouldn’t you want two great institutions … to be able to compete against each other? And hopefully that will happen somewhere down the line.”

 

Alden was also asked about playing St. Louis University in basketball and indicated that part of the  challenge was geographical.  ”Our focus has to got to be instead of having two games in St. Louis, how can we have one game in St. Louis and one in Kansas City?”

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Mizzou Hoopster Dixon To Transfer After 2nd Rape Allegation

Suspended Missouri guard Michael Dixon will not be returning to the Tigers.  Already suspended, Dixon announced via statement that he would be transferring.  The announcement came just hours after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had posted a story regarding a second rape allegation aimed at Dixon.

According to Dixon’s statement:

 

“It’s been a challenging few months.  And while I appreciate the support of many in the Mizzou community, including my coaches and teammates, it’s in the best interest of me, my family and the University of Missouri for me to finish my career elsewhere.”

 

Dixon was voted the Big 12′s Sixth Man of the Year last year as a junior.

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Mizzou AD Alden Senses More Harmony In The SEC

When you move into a new neighborhood, what are you gonna say other than, “Hey, this place is nice?”  No one wants to look like they made a bad move.  No one wants to insult the new neighbors.

Still, considering the shabby state that the Big 12 was in when Missouri chose to depart it, it’s easy to believe Tiger athletic director Mike Alden when he suggests his school’s new league has better esprit de corps than its old one… which he did yesterday at his first SEC Meetings in Destin.

“These schools, they don’t talk about just living in the moment; they talk about what’s good for the league a decade from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now,” he said.  ”I’m not used to that… I don’t say that negatively — that’s a fact.

According to The Kansas City Star, Alden also commented on “how willing the leaders of the SEC’s power schools were to side with issues that might not be in their own individual interest, but were in the best interest of the league as a whole.”  Mizzou’s AD even tossed out some specific bouquets to a few of the Tigers’ new rivals.

“We’ve heard that from Florida, we’ve heard that from Alabama, we’ve heard that from Georgia, we’ve heard that from Kentucky,” Alden said. “Now that doesn’t mean Alabama isn’t going to try to beat your brains out when you play, but when they’re in that meeting and they’re saying ‘We’re willing to take less than maybe we’ll be able to earn on our own because it’s good for the league,’ it’s (something that’s) been built over time… It’s about the reality of those very successful, longtime institutions being prepared to say look, we’re only as strong as our weakest link, our least-resourced institution in our league.  The Big Ten has the same model. Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan talk the same way they do in the SEC, and I think that’s a culture, (one) that’s been built.”

Alden found time to salute SEC commissioner Mike Slive, as well, while speaking with The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  ”In my opinion, it comes from Mike Slive; I think he’s one of the great leaders in college sport, maybe all of sport,” said Alden.  ”And nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s looking to.”

Alden revealed that A&M and Mizzou officials will travel to Atlanta next week for “a celebration” of their membership in the SEC.  He also told The Post-Dispatch that last week, Arkansas AD Jeff Long and several members of his staff attended a Tiger athletics retreat, “sharing best practices.”

It’s no wonder that Alden would point to the all-for-one, one-for-all attitudes of the SEC and the Big Ten.  The two leagues are the most stable in college athletics these days and that’s not expected to change in the future.  That stability is built on an arms-locked philosophy.

Clearly, that’s a philosophy that did not exist in the old Big 12.  Whether the new Big 12 can create a new spirit of unity to match the SEC’s and Big Ten’s remains to be seen.  But Missouri and Alden won’t have to worry about that any longer.  They’ve already found their happy place.

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A Quick Dose Of Friday Missouri News

And still we wait.

With Missouri trying to extricate itself from the Big 12 as painlessly as possible, those in the SEC are believed to be sitting back, waiting, and planning for what could be a 13- or 14-school athletic season in 2012-13.

The ball is in the court of the Big 12 and Mizzou.  It’s likely for that reason that talk of expansion and Missouri has cooled in SEC circles.  Not cooled in a negative way toward the Tigers, just cooled because there’s really nothing new to say.

Any leaks on the MU-Big 12 breakup are likely to come from the Show-Me-State of the state of Texas at this point.  So what’s being said to the west?

1.  Blair Kerkhoff of The Kansas City Star writes that Missouri will have to become “more NFL-like” if/when it lands in the Southeastern Conference.  The writer believes that the Tigers will need to get more defensive in their approach.

“To me, proof positive came in the national title game for the 2008 season.  Oklahoma, which had scored 60 points in each of its final five regular-season games, mustered 14 in a 10-point loss to Florida.

Strong defense and power running games win the SEC.  This is not Missouri’s modus operandi.”

There’s one notable exception to that rule.  Arkansas.  Bobby Petrino’s spread offense is a pass-first attack with a complimentary ground game.  And no one will confuse one of his Razorback defenses to date with the ’85 Bears.

As we’ve pointed out here before, if Gary Pinkel’s system can help 3-star players play like 4- and 5-star players — as is the case with Petrino’s — then Mizzou might be just fine as a passing-centric spread team.

(Sidenote — Tommy Tuberville — now at Texas Tech — tells Kerkhoff that the Big 12 has better quarterbacks and receivers, but the SEC has better linebackers.)

2.  Jeff Gordon of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Tigers will have to recruit better, expand their football stadium from 70,000 to 85,000, and “boost the size of its fan base by another 25% or so” in order to compete in the SEC.

3.  Vahe Gregorian — also of The Post-Dispatch — sums up the current wait in a short, poorly headlined post.  “Mizzou still awaits word from the SEC,” is the title to the piece, implying that Mike Slive’s league has teased MU to the point of leaving the Big 12 without giving them a final go-ahead.

The actual piece just breaks down where things appear to stand at the moment.

“… the crux is Mizzou wanting to leave for 2012 with no legal complications and minimal exit fees, and that cause may be helped by the conference indicating it plans to be without Missouri and interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas’ spoken stance that it would be “viable” without Mizzou.

Yet, the withdrawal perhaps is complicated by the Big East intending to jam West Virginia for 27 months after notice, per Big East bylaws.”

We continue to hear that the Big 12 is playing hardball and refusing to do much negotiating when it comes to Missouri’s exit fee which is believed to be — on paper — between $26-30 million dollars.

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