When reached for comment on the latest round of Big Ten expansion speculation, Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman left no room for reading between the lines when he said “none whatsoever” upon being asked about the validity of the latest report linking his school — along with Missouri, Rutgers and Notre Dame — to the Midwest conference.
Missouri has also responded to the rumors, but the statement issued by the school is, basically, a series of words strung together for the sole purpose of appearing to say something when, in actuality, it says absolutely nothing.
“The University of Missouri is receiving numerous inquiries related to public speculation about conference membership,” the school said according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “MU is a member of the Big 12 Conference and will not respond to speculation about conference realignment. Mizzou continues to be grateful for all the interest shown in and support for the university.”
Translation? C’mon in, Mr. Delany. Can we get you something to drink? A nice Cuban*, maybe?
Just to add yet another layer to the Mizzou side of the intrigue, the Kansas City Star reports that, per a source who had spoken with MU athletic director Mike Alden on Monday, “there’s nothing there at all” to the latest rumor involving the school. “Not yet. … nothing has changed,” the source added.
The Star also reports that internal discussions on expansion involving, amongst other MU officials, Alden, chancellor Brady Deaton and system president Gary Forsee have already commenced. The paper stated that a two-hour conference call on the subject of expansion was held this past Thursday.
Big Ten officials were not involved in that call.
(*: the cigar, not the people indigenous to the island.)
UPDATE 5:52 p.m. ET: Nebraska has also issued a statement on this latest “development”, and their’s falls exactly in line with their chancellor’s initial reaction:
“We recognize the intense speculation about conference realignment and the possible impact it may have on Nebraska. Both Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Athletic Director Tom Osborne have indicated that the university would consider any opportunity that would advance the interests of the university.
“The University of Nebraska has not been offered any opportunity to move from the Big 12. We remain committed to the success of the Big 12 Conference. Until the Big Ten Conference makes and announces its decision on expansion, the University of Nebraska will have no further comment and we do not intend to continue to respond further to questions or speculations on this subject.”
Translation? See the one up above explaining Mizzou’s statement? Yeah, same thing here. The Cornhuskers’ thighs are ripe for opening.