Not long after West Virginia University officials began to slowly spread word of the school's agreement to join the Big 12 Conference on Tuesday, they began to make calls to say the deal was on hold.
And now, as one WVU official said Wednesday morning, "Who knows?"
WVU learned Tuesday evening that the expected announcement that it would join the Big 12 was being delayed and that Louisville, one of five football schools the Mountaineers were to leave behind in the depleted Big East Conference, had begun to exert pressure on the Big 12 to consider the Cardinals instead of West Virginia.
The Mountaineers might have to wait until the Big 12 board meets again Monday and perhaps decide whether the conference will accept WVU or Louisville. It could also accept both schools.
The delay was another installment in the saga that started last month when Pitt and Syracuse announced they were leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck declined comment Wednesday morning. WVU President Jim Clements could not be reached for comment.
Separate sources said Wednesday the holdup was not related to whether Missouri would stay in the Big 12 or leave for the Southeastern Conference, or about how the Big 12 could conduct a press conference introducing WVU if it wasn't sure about Missouri's intentions.
WVU was accepted into the Big 12 without regard for Missouri's decision, sources said, though it was presumed Missouri would be leaving for the SEC and WVU would be the 10th team in the Big 12.
That was the consensus of eight of the remaining 10 Big 12 schools. Texas A&M and Missouri did not vote.
However, on Tuesday night members of the league's Board of Directors expressed their desire to step back and to consider Louisville, which had been under the impression it was a candidate. Louisville is reportedly getting an assist from U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is a former student body president of the University of Louisville.
McConnell's office offered no comment to the Daily Mail on Wednesday.
Members of West Virginia's congressional delegation were monitoring the situation and were prepared to act on behalf of WVU, if asked. The offices of U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller also were tracking the developments.
"West Virginians and the American people deserve to know exactly what is going on and whether politics is interfering with our college sports," Manchin stated Wednesday.
Manchin also made an apparent reference to McConnell:
"If these outrageous reports have any merit - and especially if a United States senator has done anything inappropriate or unethical to interfere with a decision that the Big 12 had already made - then I believe that there should be an investigation in the U.S. Senate, and I will fight to get the truth."
One source said Wednesday that a Big 12 decision to add Louisville would not automatically exclude WVU. The Big 12 could lose Missouri and add the Cardinals and Mountaineers and function with 11 teams as the Big Ten did for many years.