Missouri prepares deal to keep Mike Anderson

COLUMBIA, MO (STLToday.com) - Pending formal approval today or tomorrow by the University of Missouri Board of Curators, according to two sources familiar with the dynamics, Mizzou is on the verge of finalizing a contract extension and raise for basketball coach Mike Anderson that it believes will keep him at MU.

If approved, the new contract would add two years to the five remaining on Anderson's contract and call for a jump approaching $2 million a year from his current base salary of about $1.5 million.

Despite a swirl of rumors, it is unclear whether Arkansas has made an offer to Anderson, who was an assistant coach there for 17 years and is believed to be a prime possible target of the school.

That innuendo has intensified since MU's NCAA Tournament loss last Thursday, but Anderson was seen by multiple news outlets recruiting for Mizzou on Saturday and MU players have given no indication of any change afoot through their Twitter posts the last few days.

A Mizzou source said Anderson was believed to be in Columbia and likely playing pickup basketball as he usually does on Mondays at the student recreation center as indicated by a tweet from MU student Ben Picardi, who also is a stringer for The Associated Press.

It's uncertain if the impending offer, which has been in the works for weeks, will be accepted and thus end the speculation. And it's believed that Missouri would not go beyond the terms outlined and enter a bidding war should it come to that for Anderson.

If it is able to keep Anderson, the funds would need to be generated through the athletic department and athletics fundraising.

Continuing attempts to reach athletics director Mike Alden have been unsuccessful, and a request to speak with Anderson Monday received no immediate response.

MU curators are having a regularly scheduled meeting today and Tuesday in Rolla, Mo.