The SEC has announced that they have accepted the Missouri Tigers as their 14th member effective July 1, 2012.
Missouri is the second school to be added to the Southeastern Conference this year. Texas A&M accepted an invitation to join in September.
Although no announcement was made, it is likely that Missouri will be placed in the SEC East with Texas A&M in the SEC West. That would keep the divisions balanced and keep a current member from having to switch.
The Tigers leave behind the Big 12, a conference they have competed in since it began in 1996. Prior to that, Missouri was a member of the Big Eight Conference from 1928 to 1995. Missouri won a share of the Big 12 North championship three times and won or shared the Big Eight championship six times.
“The Presidents and Chancellors of the Southeastern Conference are pleased to welcome the University of Missouri to the SEC,” said Dr. Bernie Machen, President of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors and president of the University of Florida. “The University of Missouri is a prestigious academic institution with a strong athletic tradition and a culture similar to our current institutions.”
“The Southeastern Conference is a highly successful, stable, premier athletic conference that offers exciting opportunities for the University of Missouri,” said Chancellor Brady J. Deaton. “In joining the SEC, MU partners with universities distinguished for their academic programs and their emphasis on student success. The SEC will provide our student-athletes with top flight competition and unparalleled visibility. We came to this decision after careful consideration of the long term best interests of our university. We believe the Southeastern Conference is an outstanding home for the Mizzou Tigers, and we take great pride in our association with this distinguished league.”
“I am pleased to officially welcome the University of Missouri to the SEC family on behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “Missouri is an outstanding academic institution with a strong athletic program. We look forward to having the Tigers compete in our league starting in 2012.”