Missouri's SEC application is imminent, report says

Conference realignment was back in the news Monday, with the New York Times reporting that a decision from Missouri on submitting an official application for membership in the SEC is "inevitable and imminent" and other reports saying that Big East leaders voted to double the league's exit fee to $10 million.

Missouri appears confident it has the votes necessary to leave the Big 12 and gain entry into the SEC. Nine schools must approve membership.

The Big East is hoping the move by its presidents will lead to adding six teams, including Boise State as a football-only member.

The conference's plan to have 12 football members also includes adding Navy and Air Force just for football and Central Florida, SMU and Houston in all sports.

There is no Big East timetable for extending invitations and no guarantee all the targeted schools will join. Upping the exit fee signals the league will be stable long term.

Missouri's board of curators has a regularly scheduled meeting set for Thursday and Friday.

Adding Missouri would give the SEC 14 members. It's unclear if Missouri would join in 2012 or 2013.

It is expected that the SEC presidents will tie the same caveat about legal entanglements to Missouri's application that they did to Texas A&M's. The SEC has made it clear it wants no part of any legal problems, which held up Texas A&M's admission for more than a month.

The loss of Missouri would leave Big 12 membership at nine, meaning a likely expansion of one or three universities, prompting more uncertainty on the collegiate landscape.

georgia-vandy dispute: The SEC is looking into a confrontation after Georgia's victory over Vanderbilt. Commodores coach James Franklin was looking for Bulldogs coach Mark Richt to shake hands when he had a heated exchange with Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. A police officer pushed Grantham away from Franklin, who on Monday talked with Richt.

Grantham said in a statement that he feels a responsibility to stand up for his players, but his actions "were not representative of what this institution stands for."

In Vanderbilt basketball news, center Festus Ezeli was suspended for the first six games for accepting a meal and hotel room from an alumnus.

colorado: Tailback Rodney Stewart (severely sprained knee) is out for two to four weeks, which will prevent him from surpassing the school record for rushing yards (3,940) held by his position coach, Eric Bieniemy.

Louisville: In what coach Charlie Strong called a mutual parting, offensive coordinator Mike Sanford is no longer with the program. Sanford's future with the team has been in doubt since Oct. 7 when he did not travel for a game at North Carolina.

Michigan: Denard Robinson will remain the starting quarterback. Coach Brady Hoke said there had not been consideration to giving backup Devin Gardner a full series or a quarter: "We're 6-1, and a lot of that is because Denard is our quarterback." In a loss to Michigan State, Robinson posted his lowest completion percentage (37.5) and rushing total (42 yards) as a starter. Spartans players said they kept bringing defensive pressure because Robinson "can't throw."

Middle Tennessee: Kayla Hockett, the girlfriend of ex-offensive coordinator Willie Simmons, said in a police report that he put his hands around her neck and briefly choked her before letting her leave. Simmons resigned Friday after being charged with aggravated assault Wednesday.

North Carolina: Starting linebacker Ebele Okakpu was dismissed for conduct detrimental to the team. Sophomore Darius Lipford will likely start at Clemson on Saturday.

Pittsburgh: The Panthers will stick with junior quarterback Tino Sunseri after having little success using Sunseri and freshman Trey Anderson in recent weeks.

Missouri's SEC application is imminent, report says 10/17/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:49am]

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