BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference says an announcement that Missouri was joining the league was inadvertently posted on the league’s website and that no agreement has been reached.
The announcement dated Oct. 22 was on the site Thursday night, and was reported by outkickthecoverage.com. The SEC’s Web site attributed the announcement to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and said he made it on Monday — presumably of this week given the listed date from two days earlier.
The SEC site also had a sidebar on Missouri-SEC connections and detailed the university’s athletic history, including its claim as the creator of the homecoming tradition.
SEC spokesman Charles Bloom posted on Twitter that a website vendor made a mistake and that the league and Missouri don’t have an agreement. The announcement was pulled from the site.
The SEC site’s operator, XOS Digital Sports Network, said the “draft article” was discovered by a website user.
“There had been considerable speculation about the possibility that Missouri would join the Southeastern Conference, and the working draft, which was never published, was prepared so the article could be finalized and posted quickly should Missouri in fact join the SEC,” XOS said in a statement. “The draft was not intended to be publicly available, but a website user was able to obtain it through the use of a new advanced search technology.”
The resulting material opened: “Given the ever-changing conference paradigm over the past year, the Southeastern Conference continued to demonstrate its commitment to maintaining its stature as one of the nation’s premier conferences by welcoming Missouri as the league’s 14th member, Commissioner Mike Slive announced Monday.”
The SEC posting included question-and-answer sessions with CBS Sports college football announcer Tony Barnhart and Chris Dortch of Blue Ribbon Sports Media Group on how Missouri fits in the league.
It touted Missouri’s natural geographic fit, its academics and even the popularity of barbecue and country music.
Texas A&M is set to join the league as the 13th member in July. Slive said Thursday at the SEC basketball media day that a transition team plotting scheduling for next football season is working on plans for both 13 and 14 teams.