Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Missouri Missing Crisis? Big 12 Commish, Member Schools Aim to Confront Missouri, Nebraska About Their Desire to Stay in the
Big 12 Conference.

Big 12 Conference Commish Dan Beebe is talkin' tough, indicating that Missouri and Nebraska officials (who have not so quietly been looking into the possibility of a jump to the Big 10) are in for a real grilling next month at the conference's annual meeting in Kansas City. Said Beebe to 810 WHB radio over the past day: "I think we need to come to terms with that when we meet in Kansas City. I think we need to have a very frank conversation about where we’re going and who’s going to be on the plane when we take off. I will be very direct."

Could Missouri and Nebraska be in for an Adlai Stevenson/UN/Cuban Missile Crisis-style ambush (pictured above) at next month's meeting? That's in reference to 1962, during the height of that crisis, when Stevenson (US Ambassador to the UN), on the UN floor, directly confronted the Soviet representative on whether the Soviets were placing missiles in Cuba. One can envision an exchange that might go something like this for Missouri athletic director Mike Alden:

-Beebe: "Alden, do you deny, Sir, that your university has every desire in the world to bolt from this conference and join the Big 10?"
-Alden: "I'm not in a position to comment on that subject."
-Beebe: "Do you deny, Sir, that Missouri has been making every effort to impress the Big 10 and to garner an invitation to that conference?"
-Alden: "I had difficulty hearing that question. Can the secretary read it back?"
-Beebe: "No, no! Don't wait for my question to be read back. You heard me. You answer 'yes' or 'no'!"
-Alden: [Shakes his head, refusing to answer.]
-Beebe: "Sir, I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over!"
-Then Beebe trots out some surveillance photos showing Alden entering a Chicago restaurant with the Big 10 Commissioner, and things only deteriorate from there...

Should be a fascinating meeting next month. (BTW, the entire Stevenson/UN incident upon which the above is based is very well depicted in the 2000 motion picture Thirteen Days, with actor Michael Fairman in the role of Stevenson).