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Monday, October 24, 2011
Updated: October 25, 1:34 PM ET
Big 12 voices 'desire' for Mizzou to stay

ESPN.com news services

Missouri has not left the Big 12. Not yet, at least.

And West Virginia isn't officially in the Big 12. Not yet, at least.

Multiple media reports Tuesday said the Mountaineers are headed to the Big 12. The New York Times quoted a source as saying that the Mountaineers had both applied and been accepted. The Times reported that only legal entanglements are preventing the move from becoming official.

Sources told ESPN's Joe Schad and Andy Katz that West Virginia was not yet accepted into the Big 12, but indications continue to be that the Mountaineers are first in line to replace Missouri, as sources told ESPN.com on Saturday.

Neither conference would confirm that West Virginia was moving from the Big East to the Big 12.

Monday, the Big 12's board of directors met at an undisclosed location in the Dallas area, and it was anticipated that Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, having been given the power last week to make decisions on the future of the university's athletic program, might use the opportunity to inform the rest of the conference of its planned departure.

But Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas told the Kansas City Star that Missouri did not submit a letter of conditional withdrawal or notify the Big 12 that it planned to leave.

"The conference encouraged Missouri to stay in the Big 12," Neinas said, according to the report.

And in a news release, the Big 12 said "a strong desire for the University of Missouri to maintain its Big 12 affiliation was expressed" at the meeting.

But late Monday, Deaton gave some clue as to Missouri's intentions, giving a statement to KOMU-TV in Columbia, Mo. in which he wished the Big 12 "the best and all of that."

"There's no delays here at all," he said, referring to the school's step toward leaving the Big 12. "There's some very specific things that have to be addressed. We want to address those. We really can't rush these things. These are things you can't rush."

The Tigers' expected departure for the Southeastern Conference has been reported as "imminent and inevitable."

The Big 12's board of directors also discussed the possibility of creating a conference-wide television network, according to the release.

The Big 12 has previously discussed the possibility of creating a conference-wide network, but has yet to take any concrete steps to making it a reality.

On Monday, the board reaffirmed a previous resolution in which the league's members pledged to grant their Tier I (over-the-air) and Tier II (cable) media rights to the Big 12.

All 10 Big 12 members, including Missouri and TCU, took part in Monday's meeting, according to the release.

The board also discussed NCAA legislation and the Bowl Championship Series, according to the release.

Information from ESPN.com Big 12 blogger David Ubben and The Associated Press was used in this report.