Hey, remember that time Missouri wanted to join the Big Ten?
To the university archives!
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Last month, I started sending out a series of document requests to librarians working in university archives. I had some college sports history questions I was hoping to get answered for a book project, and I was hoping to pick up enough historical budgets and contracts for a newsletter or two.
One of those requests ended up returning a trove of documents related to the Big Ten’s expansion options after adding Penn State in 1990. The documents, which included presidential memos and internal Big Ten Conference conversations, showed the league considered adding Texas, Nebraska, Rutgers, Pitt, as well as a handful of other schools, before deciding to stand pat at 11.
One of the other schools that was mentioned a few times? Missouri, although based on the documents I’ve inspected so far, it doesn’t appear that Missouri was a candidate that was seriously considered as some of the others.
But that was just one batch of documents from one university. Maybe Missouri’s library had some useful context to share? Did Missouri want to join the Big Ten?
According to memos and documents I’ve obtained from the school…they sure did. Let’s take a walk down memory lane…
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