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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:57 pm 
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The ADs are in Las Vegas. Here is the latest news:

http://www.argusleader.com/sports/Mondayarticle3.shtml

Football league meeting tonight

Chris Solari
csolari@argusleader.com

published: 12/8/2003

SDSU could join new conference

Athletic directors from six of the seven schools talking about forming a new Division I-AA football conference, including South Dakota State's Fred Oien, will begin meetings tonight in Las Vegas to finalize the league.

If all goes as planned, the yet-to-be-named conference will consist of SDSU, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Southern Utah, California-Davis, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and St. Mary's (Calif.). All but St. Mary's will be represented in Las Vegas, where the leaders expect to hammer out the details of competition and scheduling.

"It's going to be, ÔWhat do you think about exchange of video tapes for scouting?'" Oien said. "I fully expect us to decide how the conference will be managed, how that will work, the assignments of officials and such."

SDSU football coach John Stiegelmeier said he reviewed the proposed conference manual - a thick booklet filled with such items as scheduling rules, bylaws, budgets and a constitution. Stiegelmeier passed along his comments and issues to Oien for discussion at the meeting.

This is expected to be a next-to-last meeting, with the formal agreement and announcement anticipated at January's NCAA meeting in Nashville. The athletic directors will start their meetings tonight, and then wrap things up by mid-afternoon Tuesday.

"I don't think we're going to come out of (Las Vegas) with an agreement," NDSU Athletic Director Gene Taylor said. "I think there's too much work left for less than 24 hours of meetings. The hope is that we come out of there with close to an agreement or an agreement, if you talk to some athletic directors."

A key topic will be the league's name. Greg Warzecka, athletic director at California-Davis, said a unique identity is essential to market the new conference.

"The schools are spread out in different regions of the country. We're not really sure what we'll call ourselves right now." said Warzecka, whose school just finished its first football season in Division I-AA.

SDSU and NDSU will start their first year at the Division I level in the fall of 2004.

"We're hoping to walk away with some kind of sense whether this is going to work or not," Oien said.

Taylor said he expects SDSU and NDSU to be asked about their commitment to the proposed league. Neither school has found a conference for its other sports, and both are actively keeping an eye on the Big Sky Conference. That league, which offers football, has been the top choice for both schools throughout the process. However, that league has told NDSU and SDSU to look elsewhere for conference affiliation because of travel distances.

"I know the California schools are very leery of us pulling out when we get things going," Taylor said.

Warzecka said including SDSU and NDSU would solidify the new league.

"We feel like this is going to be a significant I-AA football conference in the future," he said.



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:22 pm 
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Here is the latest news from Nevada:

http://www.argusleader.com/sports/Wednesdayarticle4.shtml

Meetings adjourn without league
Chris Solari
csolari@argusleader.com

published: 12/10/2003

Seven schools, including SDSU, discuss procedural issues

Two days of meetings between athletic officials from universities interested in forming a Division I-AA football conference didn't yield a new league.

However, South Dakota State and the six other schools involved, managed to address issues and work slightly closer to an agreement.

"We did the kind of things I expected," SDSU Athletic Director Fred Oien said Tuesday. "We went through the constitution and bylaws, we talked about the procedures of how a league would operate, we talked about

scheduling.

"I think we made good progress, but there's a lot of work left. We're not done yet."

The meetings were held at the Primm Valley Resorts and Casino, situated in the southern tip of Nevada about 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas, near the California and Arizona borders. The officials met from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. (PST) on Monday, then again from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday before parting ways.

Athletic directors from six of the schools - SDSU, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, California-Davis, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Southern Utah - attended. St. Mary's (Calif.) sent an associate athletic director.

Oien said the schools will continue to talk via conference calls in the coming months, though he wouldn't estimate a timetable.

This proposed league would only be for football. SDSU's other sports would have to find another Division I conference to compete in.

Gene Taylor, NDSU's athletic director, said another face-to-face meeting could be held at January's NCAA convention in Nashville. He added that most of the meetings Monday and Tuesday were spent fine-tuning the administrative and financial aspects of a new conference.

"We knew it was going to take us more than the two days we had," Taylor said, "but we did get a significant amount of work done."

The initial estimation of beginning conference play in 2005 has been shuffled a bit, Taylor said.

"We tried to fill some holes (in the schedules) that we had, both Fred and I, and we talked about the future," Taylor said. "From here on, there's potential that everybody is going to play everybody in '05. I'm not sure that's going to happen. Definitely, everybody will play in '06 and '07."

One major sticking point is the sustained hope by SDSU and NDSU for an invitation to join the Big Sky Conference. That league offers Division I-AA football, along with Division I competition in other sports.

"We're not speculating that the Dakotas might go to the Big Sky or another conference. But for any of us, especially in this day and age, anything can happen," said Greg Warzecka, California-Davis' athletic director. "They've been up front about it, and we've all been cognizant of it."

Oien said every conference discusses proper ways to enter and exit.

"As we progress over the next few months, it may become a deeper topic," Oien said of a potential Big Sky invitation.

No one would give away potential names for the new league. Warzecka said a few are in the running, and that the marketing departments at the schools will be checking on possible trademark conflicts.

Warzecka said April is the target month to have everything in place. That's when the NCAA Division I Membership Committee meets to review applications.

In the interim, the schools will try to get their football coaches together for a meeting in January, then will use February for planning in hopes of having everything in order by March.

"That's what we're headed toward -Êgetting our application filled out and done to submit to the Membership Committee," Warzecka said.

Oien, who was to meet with SDSU alumni and donors Tuesday night in Las Vegas, said getting to know the other ADs and discussing the issues were keys he took out of Nevada.

"They're really good people. They all speak about the student-athlete first and what will be good for them," he said. "When you get a group of people together who believe that's the most important thing, that's pretty good stuff."



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:41 pm 
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Looks like this thing is going to happen. I am looking forward to seeing what they call it and seeing what the logo looks like. The only question is what will the membership look like in a few years. Sac-State may join, SDSU & NDSU may leave, or who knows. Lots of questions and the leauge isn't even offical yet.

http://collegesportsinfo.com/news/

New I-AA Football Conference Plans Nearly Finalized - 1/23/04
- by Matthew Peloquin

Athletic Directors from various I-AA football schools and Division II schools planning to upgrade to I-AA, have indicated that they are putting the final touches on the creation of a new, western-based I-AA football conference. Initial discussions started last spring, between the Athletic Directors from North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Cal-Poly, UC Davis, Northern Colorado and Southern Utah. By forming a conference, the group would eventually be eligible for an automatic bid into the I-AA playoffs. The league hopes to capitalize on the lack of a second western regional conference in I-AA, other than the Big Sky whose members encompass a similar footprint.

Following their meetings in Las Vegas in early December, it appears that the final touches have been set for the league to be formed. Included in this group of schools will be I-AA independent, St. Mary's. League management has yet to be finalized, however the Mid-Continent Conference will provide the initial management, through Commissioner Ron Bertovich and Associate Commissioner Ed Grom. The favorite for the conference name by the public seems to be "Great West Conference", but could also come from a group that also includes "Greater West Conference", "Heartland Conference", "Heartland Pacific Conference", "Heartland West Conference", "Western Pacific Conference", "Central Pacific Conference", "Greater Northwestern", "Midland West", and "America West" (the American West Conference dissolved in 1995). Officials from the proposed league have confirmed that both the league name and logo have already been chosen. Trade-marking remains the last hurdle for both issues. While a time frame is not specifically known, the league hopes to launch by the 2006 football season. A formal announcement is expected in early spring.

Recent developments on the campus of Sacramento St. could eventually result in the affiliation of yet another school with this new conference. First year President Alexander Gonzalez appointed a sports task force in October to review and research various issues related to the Sacramento St. athletic programs and present their recommendations by 2004. Included in this study was determining the feasibility and potential of a new on-campus arena for its basketball and volleyball programs. Also on the agenda for the group was the topic of conference affiliation, with a final recommendation that the university continue to explore all it's options. Recent rumblings over budgetary concerns, lack of fan support for various athletic programs, and the absence of regional rivalries for Sacramento St. within the Big Sky could cause the school to pursue membership in the Big West, which will add UC-Davis for all-sports in 2004-2005 and will be comprised of all California schools once Idaho moves all it's sports to the Sunbelt Conference in 2005 (which it has participated in football since 2001). Dr. Gonzalez could be taking this time to explore the WAC and 1A football as an option. Such a move out of the Big Sky would force the Sacramento St. football program to consider participating as a an independent, applying for membership in the new I-AA conference once it eventually launches, upgrading to 1A or eliminating the sport. While the specific topic of football has yet to be addressed by Dr. Gonzalez, all indications from football Head Coach Steve Mooshagian are that the sport is here to stay. Final decisions by the Sacramento St. administration are expected by this June.

Any departures from the Big Sky could initiate a search for conference replacements. Ironically, the four main candidates could all come from the proposed new I-AA conference. Northern Colorado, Southern Utah, NDSU and SDSU could top the list since they all will sponsor I-AA football. Adding Southern Utah would provide a convenient rival for Northern Arizona and Weber State, as its located just 280 miles from both universities. Northern Colorado would give the Big Sky entrance into the Denver market without further expanding the conferences general geographic footprint. North Dakota St. and South Dakota St., both of whom have petitioned the Big Sky for membership in the past, could have their consideration revisited. But in a time when many schools are looking for budgetary relief, expanding the conference footprint further eastward could result in an increase in travel costs for all league members.




Last edited by 89rabbit on Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:24 am 
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Looks like the GWC is going to happen for this fall.

http://www.argusleader.com/sports/Tuesdayarticle2.shtml

SDSU close on new conference

From Staff & Wire Reports


published: 2/24/2004

Official announcement could come as early as Wednesday

Signs point toward a Wednesday announcement that South Dakota State has joined a new NCAA Division I-AA football league called the Great West Football Conference.

The league would have seven schools: North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Northern Colorado and Southern Utah along with three in California - St. Mary's College, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and California Davis.

SDSU has scheduled a press conference at 1 p.m. Wednesday to talk about conference issues. Neither SDSU athletic director Fred Oien or football coach John Stiegelmeier would reveal what will be said Wednesday.

NDSU and Northern Colorado, which in the past have competed with SDSU in the North Central Conference, have press conferences scheduled for the same day at the same time.

The decision on football would not settle where SDSU would end up for basketball and other sports. . . .



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:17 am 
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would they get an automatic bid to the 1-aa football tournament, or do you need 8 teams?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:34 am 
No, in I-AA football six schools are the minimum number for an automatic bid. This is what the Southland Conf. has currently.

However, there is a five year wait before a new conference can be eligible for an automatic bid.



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:31 am 
Actually, it is a 2 year wait for I-AA according to the bylaws. The 5 year wait is what the NCAA basketball regulations state.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:47 am 
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here is an interesting aritcle on automatic bids for the 1-aa football tournament.

http://www.ncaa.org/news/2003/20030217/div1/4004n18.html


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:26 pm 


Well the Great West Football Conference is here...

check out these sites:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/gen/wire?messageId=25104217

www.greatwestfootball.com

I'm glad there is another Western Football Conference


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 7:48 pm 
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For those of you like me that didn't get a chance to hear today's Great Western Football Conf. press conf. live, KJJQ has it archived, so you can still hear it.

http://www.depotradio.com/sports.php#

Once there go about halfway down the page and click on SDSU joins D1-AA Great West Conference.


What a GREAT day for SDSU Football! Go State!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:32 pm 
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i guess this rules out the big sky for their other sports. so is the midcon going to be expanding now?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 12:00 am 
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Quote:
i guess this rules out the big sky for their other sports. so is the midcon going to be expanding now?


If you listned to our ADs press conf. the name Mid-Con came up a lot!



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:00 am 
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St. Mary's is hesitent about joining....


http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/sports/colleges/saint_marys_college_california/8037715.htm?session=N4x0fPLdbPx2N055QyHuyRu7kU

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:58 pm 
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St. Mary's calls it quits in football...Sad to see, it was a once proud program. :'(

http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/news_events/news/030304_athletics_pr.html


Last edited by gumby on Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 2:33 pm 
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Now that St. Mary's is done with Football, it will allow all the GWFC teams to play each other this season. Thus we will have a true conference champion.

http://greatwestfootball.collegesports.com/


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