Editorial: MU who?

March 22, 2013


Last week’s Big 12 Conference post-season basketball tournament in Kansas City was a smashing success in most every category, particularly for the Kansas Jayhawks, who dribbled away with a 70-54 win over Kansas State and the tournament championship. KU is now 9-1 in the Big 12 tournament finals.

This year’s gathering was unusual in one respect: the absence of the University of Missouri, a longtime member of the Big 12 — and the previous Big 8, Big 7 and Big 6 conferences — which elected to opt out of the conference and saddle up with the Southeastern Conference.

Some Kansas City business people, city officials and loyal MU boosters lamented the loss of the Tigers, predicting major negative economic impacts on the city. Others talked about how the conference tournament would lose much of its excitement without the emotional rivalry between Missouri and foes like the Jayhawks.

What happened?

There was record attendance this year at the four-day tournament, and nearby businesses reported record sales. Some may have missed the Tigers, but not many, and there certainly wasn’t much interest or concern for how the Tiger basketball team was performing in the SEC tournament, which was running concurrently with the Kansas City show.

There are those in Kansas City trying to build a case that the KU-MU rivalry should be renewed in Kansas City, with an annual football game in Arrowhead Stadium and a basketball game in the Sprint Center. Those pushing this idea are primarily interested in how a game or games would enhance retail sales and tax revenues for the state of Missouri and the city.

Missouri walked away from the Big 12 Conference and its long association with KU and other conference schools. For whatever reason, MU leaders thought the Southeastern Conference was a better, more rewarding, fit so they turned their backs on the Big 12.

Hopefully, KU officials will not be swayed by the sure-to-come appeals from Kansas City business and political leaders to schedule a KU-MU athletic event in Kansas City. If such a game is ever revived, it should be in Allen Fieldhouse or KU’s remodeled and expanded Memorial Stadium.

Better yet, why is there any need to schedule the Tigers any time or any place?


blindrabbit 5 years, 3 months ago

Proof that money talks, even at KU. I remember 20+ years ago, the KU Athletic Department made a big fuss over the fact that Notre Dame Football had signed an exclusive deal with NBC (I think) about that network covering all Notre Dame games as part of a "contract". If I recall correctly, KU was one of the few schools in the country to make a big deal about this, and made the statement that they would not schedule ND for future sporting events. Incidentally, I'm sure ND did not sweat that stance by KU very much.

Interestingly, when an chance to play the NCAA season opener ( which added an extra game) in about 1995 (year Uncertain), KU jumped at the chance to play (you guessed it) they signed on to play ND in South Bend. We went to the game, had a good time, played pretty well, but lost. How this relates to the parent editorial, I agree, don't want to have anything to do with MU, but remember , money talks.

Brandon Deines 5 years, 3 months ago

Enough hints about Memorial - let's see a KU press release, let's see some drawings, let's hear a timeline.

justoneperson 5 years, 3 months ago

I thought KU basketball was scheduling a tougher non-conference schedule (particularly with teams from larger conferences). Why would they want to add Mizzu to that? They bring nothing to the table. (Except their terrible fans)

windjammer 5 years, 3 months ago

One of the very few J-W editorials I agree with.

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