Plus, if the Big Sky said 'no thanks' to the Dakota's, what makes you think the WAC would even consider them?
The Big Sky said no in part because of the extremely long probationary period that the NCAA had saddeled us with. Now that this has changed (or is changing) you may see the Big Sky take a second look.
NCAA proposal boosts SDSU's Division I move
Staff & Wire Reports
South Dakota State's move to Division I athletics received a boost Monday when the NCAA Management Council approved a plan to reduce the probationary period for schools moving up in class.
The plan would reduce to five years the probationary period, during which a school is ineligible for postseason play. It currently is 13 years for men's basketball and seven years for all other sports.
"This takes away a huge barrier," said SDSU athletic director Fred Oien. "I think this will allow us to move much quicker." . . .
SDSU is moving to Division I in all its sports programs except football next fall. Football is moving to Division I-AA and will play in the newly-formed Great West Football Conference.
From the start of the process to move to Division I, Oien, and NDSU athletic directo Gene Taylor, have said that the length of the probation period was a hurdle to getting an invitation to an established conference such as the Big Sky or the Midcontinent.
Now, a school like SDSU, which could produce competitive Division I programs in key sports like men's and women's basketball as soon as next season, could become a much more attractive target for conference expansion.
"This means every freshman we recruit as a senior in high school - and we recruit them this year - if they were to take one redshirt year, they could compete for the national championship in their sport," Oien said Wednesday.
"This waiting period seemed long, and it seemed like an argument not to do it, but (now) it'll be pretty short in the lifespan of the university."
The proposal will be forwarded to the NCAA Board of Directors this summer. Its approval is considered a formality because it did not receive opposition at the Management Council level.
"When we were out there talking to people about the Division I move, we knew it was on the horizon, that they were going to try to change it," Oien said of the NCAA proposal.
"We're just glad that our student athletes in every sport, if we're in a qualifying conference, could be in their national championships by 2008-2009."