27 October 2011

"OOPS!" via Dave Matter, Columbia Daily Tribune

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Oops: SEC site briefly "announces" Missouri as new member

A page dated Oct. 22 on the Southeastern Conference website briefly appeared online Thursday night and had some major news to share: Missouri is officially the league’s 14th member ... or so was supposed to be the case earlier this week. According to the press release that was clearly posted inadvertently, Missouri will begin full membership in the SEC on July 1, 2012.

It’s unclear how or why the pages were posted online, but they were quickly taken down from the league website, replaced with a message saying, "That article is missing." MU has not made any announcements regarding its conference status this week. The way the release was worded, it appears the announcement was at one point scheduled to take place Monday of this week
Here is what the original release stated:
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Given the ever-changing conference paradigm over the past year, the Southeastern Conference has continued to demonstrate its commitment to maintaining its stature as one of the nation’s premier conferences by welcoming the University of Missouri as the league’s 14th member, Commissioner Mike Slive announced Monday.
Missouri joins Texas A&M University as the league’s two new institutions who will begin full membership on July 1, 2012. It is the first expansion of the SEC membership since Arkansas and South Carolina joined the conference in 1992.
Missouri was a charter member of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1907, which became the Big Six Conference in 1964, the Big Eight Conference in 1964 and the Big 12 Conference in 1996.
Geographically, it is a natural fit as the state of Missouri touches more states (Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee) that currently are home to an SEC institution than any other state that is not in the league’s previous 13-member footprint. Like the majority of the cities in the SEC, Columbia, Mo., is a college-centered town with a metropolitan population of 164,283, making it the fifth-largest city in the state of Missouri.
With an enrollment of 32,415, the University of Missouri boasts a strong academic resume, as it is one of only five universities nationwide with law, medicine, veterinary medicine and a research reactor on one campus. Six of Missouri’s sports teams last season led the Big 12 in graduation rate for their respective sports.
Culturally, Missouri is as well known for its barbecue, country music, history and rich tradition as the majority of the current states of the SEC.
Missouri is one of only 35 public U.S. universities invited to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). It will become the fourth SEC school that is part of the AAU, joining Florida, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.
The website also included a page titled “Missouri-SEC Connections” that listed five past and present coaches who share MU and SEC ties, including Arkansas basketball and former Missouri Coach Mike Anderson, whose photo was featured on the page.
Also included was a page detailing Missouri’s homecoming history, an MU basketball page featuring a Q&A with analyst Chris Dortch and another Q&A with CBS Sports columnist Tony Barnhart. In the Barnhart feature, the writer is asked about Missouri’s football program being a good fit for the SEC.


“I think people have to remember that, as recently as 2007, Missouri was ranked No. 1 and in a position to play for the national championship,” Barnhart responds. “If they beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game, they were in a position to play for it all. Gary Pinkel has been as consistent of a coach as they’ve ever had. Missouri knows what good football looks like.

“The thing that people keep asking: ‘Is Missouri a cultural fit?’ I don’t think there’s any question that they are. People forget that there were questions about South Carolina and Arkansas. South Carolina had always been in the ACC or an independent, and Arkansas had been a founding member of the Southwest Conference, as far west as they were. People wondered if they would be a cultural fit. Once you bring somebody into the SEC family, after 3-4 years from now, that question will never be raised. They become a part of that family by being invited.”
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A FOLLOW UP
by Mizzou Matt
Now let's break down what the original article states, because there are factual errors in there. It says that Columbia has a population of 164,283, when according to the 2010 census, the population is right around the 110,500 mark. It says that Mizzou has an enrollment of 32,415, when the actual enrollment is 33,805. Of course these are just numbers, but it shows the accuracy of the website when they can't even get numbers that are easily found just by doing a Google search or just visiting the http://www.mizzou.edu website.

In the article, it says that "It touches more states" than any other state in the current SEC. That's not too hard to do because Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina are all coastal states. Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky would be the only landlocked states IF Missouri is added, and it's not even accurate. Arkansas touches four- Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi. Tennessee touches five- Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri (if added), Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia (that's five states, six including Missouri). Missouri touches just three- Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee. The author of the article is as geographically challenged as the Big East for wanting to invite Boise State.

From the article: "Missouri was a charter member of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1907, which became the Big Six Conference in 1964, the Big Eight Conference in 1964 and the Big 12 Conference in 1996." Now let's take a look at the truth. When the Big Eight was founded in 1907 it was founded AS the MVIAA. The Big Six conference was 'formed' in 1928 ('formed' because the Big Six was an unofficial name given to the conference by fans). In 1948, the name of the conference changed again when Colorado joined to form the again unofficially named Big Seven conference. The name "Big Eight" didn't come into existence until 1964.

Maybe I'm just being nit-picky and maybe it's all semantics, but I feel that if you're going to report something like this, you'd want to make sure you have ALL your facts in order.

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