The internet has been abuzz this morning since KOMU-TV reported that Missouri to the Big Ten was a "done deal." Of course, that report was based on a comment made in passing by ESPN's Bruce Feldman and was not labeled as rumor or verified in any fashion. The report hit both the broadcast airwaves and the internet and has since spread to the STL and KC radio markets, as well a few national markets.
While it has spurred yet another interesting conversation about conference expansion and re-alignment, the story is simply untrue, and the silence from KOMU is incredibly disheartening. KOMU has expressed in private that it may have jumped the gun on the story, but thus far, no public redaction or correction seems to have been made. In fact, KOMU tried to validate its story by posting a link to the podcast wherein the "done deal" was mentioned.
The only problem with that? Bill (who is currently in a meeting) sent Feldman an email explaining the situation that has since unfolded, hoping to get clarification on his statements. Feldman's response was short but sweet:
"This is so bizarre. Trying to figure out where this started."
You can find all the debate you want about KOMU's actions in our earlier thread. But, for now, we can put to rest the panic that's swept the Mizzou cyberspace for the last 8 hours.
Bill hopes to hear back from Mr. Feldman again soon, and we'll make sure to pass on any updates of note to MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA 2010™.
UPDATE: KOMU has responded with another link to their source. I'm currently trying to access the podcast but can't seem to locate it in the ESPN Radio interface. Can anyone help us out here?
UPDATE 2: Here's the context, as transcribed by reader MkeRoyal:
So this played on the original broadcast and was left out of the abridged “round table” podcast that featured Van Pelt, Rusillo, Feldman, and Forde. This comment is solely Van Pelt and occurs as he is returning from commercial after the round table. He reads an e-mail from a Mizzou fan in Columbia concerned that the Tigers aren’t getting mentioned enough as a perfect expansion candidate. He responds to this by saying that Feldman sent him an e-mail after a conversation he had with a prominent PAC 10 athletic director in which the AD told him that Mizzou to the Big 10 is a “done deal.”
Nothing more was really said about it after that, as the whole Feldman/PAC10 AD conversation was used more of a springboard into some thoughts on that conference’s desire to nab Texas + A&M.
Third-hand content from sports talk radio? On a huge national story that would be buried in a report AND not be important enough to make the abridged podcast? Feel free to make your own judgments here.