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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:05 am 
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A story from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader about SDSU's hunt for a conference uses CollegeSportsInfo.com source.

http://www.argusleader.com/sports/Sundayarticle1.shtml

Jackrabbits patiently waiting for conference bid

Chris Solari
Argus Leader

published: 6/6/2004

Shake-ups across the nation could eventually open a place for SDSU

As the domino effect among Division I college conferences around the country continues, South Dakota State remains patient and confident that its purgatory will soon be lifted.

Such is the case when you're the new kid on Division I's block.

It's been about a year since the Atlantic Coast Conference-Big East shakeup caused chaos among athletic alliances. As some of the mid-major conferences begin to pluck schools from lesser leagues, SDSU remains that kid in the corner at the dance scanning the room for an available partner.

"I think it's hard for the public to understand," SDSU Athletic Director Fred Oien said. "The conferences are not meeting on expansion daily. They go about it periodically. It just takes time."

SDSU and North Dakota State will officially be recognized as Division I universities on July 1. However, less than a month before that date, the bulk of the Jackrabbits' sports appear headed toward independent status for this coming fall.

SDSU has a conference for football. The Jacks are charter members of the six-team Great West Football Conference, along with former NCC rivals NDSU and Northern Colorado. But SDSU's other 19 sports, including the highly successful basketball programs, remain without a league.

SDSU and NDSU approached the Big Sky Conference about membership last year, but were essentially turned away and told to look elsewhere. While the Big Sky is still a possibility, other possible homes include the Mid-Continent Conference, the Horizon League and the Missouri Valley Conference, which remains a long shot.

"There isn't a way to predict what is going to happen," said Jack Mehl, athletic director at Oakland University, a Division I school in Michigan that belongs to the Mid-Continent. "I think a lot of conferences are pausing at this moment to wait and see what the next big shark is going to do."

Matt Peloquin owns a Web site(www.collegesportsinfo.com) that is predominantly devoted to tracking the shuffling within college leagues. He calls the situation SDSU and NDSU face "unique."

He said having the Great West league in place helps considerably, although if the Big Sky comes calling SDSU would end its association with the new football conference.

"Life is a lot easier when you're just looking for basketball," Peloquin said. "It opens up your options." . . .

Conference expansion is not an exact science. University presidents typically have conference calls to trade information on schools they plan to woo or invite, then work within the structure of their league by-laws to add the right institutions.

At the same time, SDSU has to sell itself to the leagues.

"It's exactly where it has been," Oien said about SDSU's conference aspirations. . . .

"It would be nice if the Big Sky would just look at their membership issues and say, 'We can bring a little stability to ourselves by increasing by two,' " Peloquin said.

One potential roadblock for SDSU's hopes of get into the Big Sky was cleared late this week.

The eight-school league had reportedly been salivating at the chance to have the University of Idaho back in the league if the Vandals returned to Division I-AA in football. However, Idaho accepted an invitation Friday to join the Western Athletic Conference, which plays Division I-A football, for the 2005-06 season.

The Big Sky's official position is listed on its Web site: "At this time, the Big Sky Conference is not looking to add an additional member. Its membership is satisfied that having an even-numbered membership is better for scheduling purposes. However, the world of collegiate athletics is always changing - more so out in the West - and so Conference leaders 'never say never,' but NCAA Championship ramifications have made it more difficult for a Division I conference to add institutions moving from Division II."

SDSU and NDSU will not be eligible for Division I postseason competition until 2008-09, when they will complete the process of reclassification.

Idaho is currently a member of the I-A mostly Southeast-based Sunbelt Conference for football - not exactly the type of geographical fit that a school desires. The decision to join the WAC shows the school is confident it will satisfy any potential I-A requirements.

"Idaho fits geographically," University of Nevada President John Lilley told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "It fits in terms of the mission of the university. It is a research and land-grant institution."

These are the same reasons SDSU have given the schools in the Big Sky as to why it should be invited to join their ranks.

"Obviously, it's not our decision whether (conferences) will expand and what their criteria will be," Oien said. "Our part is to explain the positives we can bring to a conference."


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:40 am 
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Another story from the same writer dealing with SDSU's hunt.

Yet another story in the same day from Chris, and a pretty good one at that. Here are the highlights:

http://www.argusleader.com/sports/Sundayarticle2.shtml

Michigan college understands what Jacks are facing
Chris Solari
Argus Leader

published: 6/6/2004

Oakland University made move in '97

If South Dakota State fans and administrators want a glimpse of what their Division I future could hold, they might look to one of the conferences the school hopes to join.

In 1997, Oakland University officials made the decision to take the Michigan school from the comfort of Division II's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to uncharted Division I territory.

Former foes lambasted and lamthingyed the announcement, Oakland Athletic Director Jack Mehl said.

"When an institution makes the decision to go Division I, it's pretty bold talk," Mehl said. "The eye of everybody changes as they look at you."

But the 16,576-student university caught a big break when the Mid-Continent Conference invited Oakland to join for the 1999-2000 season, before its teams had competed in a single Division I event. . . .

The jump also becomes an issue outside the athletic department, Mehl said. In complying with NCAA regulations for Division I, more paperwork is required from the admissions, registrar and provost offices.

"It tends to honk people off," Mehl said. "All of a sudden, there is a new work load. They said, 'We didn't have to do this when we were in Division II.' The answer is because you have to do it in Division I."

In a state saturated with Division I universities, ranging from nationally renowned athletic powers (Michigan, Michigan State) to more regional institutions (University of Detroit, Eastern/Western/Central Michigan), Oakland stamped its Division I presence almost immediately thanks to its men's basketball team.

The Grizzlies stunned Big Ten power Michigan 97-90 to begin the 2000-01 season. OU went on to win the Mid-Continent Conference regular-season crown that year, one of 12 such titles the school has already won in all sports. Including postseason tournament titles, the Grizzlies have 36 Mid-Continent championships.

While many people still mistakenly think the school is in California, the victory over Michigan did more to disseminate Oakland University's identity nationally than any brochure.

Mehl, who just completed a ninth year in his post at OU, knows how visible Division I athletics are in Michigan - and nationally - as opposed to regional interest in Division II.

"That's not to say we're competing with Michigan or identical. We have worked to get separation from our product and that of Michigan and Michigan State," Mehl said. "We're in the same NCAA division as they are, but we have different goals."

Mehl said there could be similar impacting victories for SDSU over regional Division I powers such as Nebraska or Minnesota. He likened it to reading thingy Tracy comics as a child - seeing the detective talk into his wrist watch and regarding it as science fiction.

"You have no idea what the future may have for your institution," Mehl said. "If that sounds pie in the sky, I suppose it is. But now, all of a sudden, people all walk around with cell phones attached to their ears. That's pretty close to thingy Tracy talking into his wrist watch."


The two stories maybe a signal that SDSU is getting close to an invite from the Mid-Con. This of course could be wishful thinking on my part. Only time will tell.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 12:29 am 
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Looks like things are starting to heat up for SDSU and its hunt for a new home. Here are highlights from the latest story on the subject.

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

Conferences look at expansion

Chris Solari
csolari@argusleader.com
published: 6/12/2004

SDSU hopes it will be talked about when Mid-Continent, Big Sky meet

Activity surrounding South Dakota State's search for a new conference is picking up.

Although the Missouri Valley Conference met Friday and dismissed the idea of SDSU joining the league anytime soon, the other three conferences mentioned as potential Division I homes for the Jackrabbits all have meetings scheduled in the coming weeks. Out of those discussions among university presidents could come an idea as to which leagues are interested in expanding and potentially adding SDSU to its membership.

"We're going to be in the mix, we think," SDSU athletic director Fred Oien said Thursday, "and hopefully, something will work out real soon."

While the topic of expansion almost certainly will be touched upon at the meetings, it won't be known until the doors open from their discussions as to which conferences are looking to add schools and which are content to stand pat.

The four leagues mentioned as potential fits for the Jacks throughout the process have been the Big Sky Conference, the Mid-Continent Conference, the Horizon League and the Missouri Valley Conference.

"The topic of membership is on everybody's minds," said Tony Hamilton, media director for the Mid-Continent.

Officials from the Missouri Valley Conference held their annual meeting Friday in St. Louis. Mike Kern, associate commissioner for communication, said the 10-school league did discuss the Dakota schools and the Great West conference, but that the MVC presidents were comfortable remaining at 10 members.

SDSU's chances to go directly from Division II into the Missouri Valley, a mid-major Division I basketball power conference, were always deemed minimal at best.

"They talked about scheduling opportunities, but nothing about expansion at this time," said Kern, adding that the topic likely won't be brought up again until after next athletic season, if at all.

The nine presidents of the Horizon League will meet Tuesday in Chicago, with expansion a possible topic, said Communications Assistant Kyle Smith.

Mid-Continent Conference presidents will meet July 1 at an undisclosed location, Hamilton said. League officials have become increasingly secretive about membership matters after adding Centenary to its alliance in 2002.

Heads of the eight Big Sky schools are tentatively scheduled to meet sometime in early August.

"It's still in the preliminary stages," said Dusty Clements, assistant commissioner. "What they'll talk about, I don't know."

Clements said about half of the league's presidents met in May in Sacramento and expansion was mildly discussed. . . .


Idaho agreed last week to join the Western Athletic Conference, a move that could enhance both SDSU and NDSU in the Big Sky's eyes.

"These are all things we knew were going to happen," Oien said. "Conference expansion is not as fast as we want it. We've just got to be patient."

SDSU has a conference for football. The Jacks helped charter the six-team Great West Football Conference in January, along with former North Central Conference rivals North Dakota State and Northern Colorado. However, SDSU's other 19 sports remain without a league.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 11:41 am 

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Mid-Continent Conference presidents will meet July 1 at an undisclosed location, Hamilton said. League officials have become increasingly secretive about membership matters after adding Centenary to its alliance in 2002.


Any truth to the speculation that the MidCon presidents are meeting in Corpus Christi to check out the Islander's facilities and South Padre Island?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:57 am 
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I have not heard that, but I have heard that TAMCC and TX Pan Am are thinking about adding football to make a run at the Southland Conf.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:48 am 
Idaho fits the WAC footprint.

The Dakota's do NOT fit the Big Sky footprint.

Waiting until '08-09 will be a death sentence for any hopes of getting a Sky invite.

Funny how the reporter reiterated the Sky saying to look elsewhere and then the Dakota's keep asking. What part of 'No' do you not understand?

Either dense or blindly ravenous to get a Sky bid.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:19 pm 
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So Jungle, if Sac-State choose to leave the Sky to join what for them would be the footprint friendly Big West/Great West, who would the Big Sky invite so as to not be at the NCAA Basketball Auto Bid limit of 7? UNC does not want to join because Baseball is a big deal to them (Big Sky has no baseball) and the Sky has repeatedly said no to SUU. Things change and answears change. The WAC had no interest in Idaho until North Texas and La. Lafayette both said no. Then EVERYTHING changed.

So get over yourself, you don't speak for the Big Sky. We don't even know who you speak for, you are not even registered. Who is your team? SDSU and NDSU approached the Big Sky once and everyone with half a brain knows that SDSU and NDSU remain an option for the Big Sky depending on how things shake out.

All that being said, I have said it before and I will say it again, look for SDSU, NDSU, and UNC to be in the Mid-Con/Great West and that works for me.


Last edited by 89rabbit on Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:05 pm 

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I have not heard that, but I have heard that TAMCC and TX Pan Am are thinking about adding football to make a run at the Southland Conf.


Actually, the schools considering starting (or restarting) football in Texas are Lamar, Texas-San Antonio, and Texas-Arlington, which are all in the Southland Conference. If this should happen, the Southland would probably be more open to either TAMCC or UTPA obtaining conference membership, as the Southland has been reserving expansion for football-playing schools.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:20 pm 
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Idaho fits the WAC footprint.

The Dakota's do NOT fit the Big Sky footprint.

Waiting until '08-09 will be a death sentence for any hopes of getting a Sky invite.

Funny how the reporter reiterated the Sky saying to look elsewhere and then the Dakota's keep asking. What part of 'No' do you not understand?

Either dense or blindly ravenous to get a Sky bid.


Yeah, JungleJim

Stop hounding 89rabbit on his posts.

I think SDSU and NDSU both would be a perfect fit for the Big Sky. Sure Bozeman, Missoula, Pocatello, Ogden, Flagstaff, Cheney, and Sac, and Portland are all considerable distances from Fargo and Brookings. But so are Greeley, Cedar City, Davis, San Luis Obispbo, etc. in the new Great West.

Bozeman actually is about 750 miles from Fargo, and 900 from Brookings. So what. The question should be are these schools a great fit. I think NDSU and SDSU fit in well academically, and enhance the Big Sky. They both would join Montana State as Land Grant schools and U Montana as all four I would consider flagship state universities.

If only the populations of the 2 Dakota states would be double or triple. They would be perfect fits for the Old Big 8, which would've mean they could've been in the Big 12. That or maybe the Big 10, joining UMinn, and UIowa.

I also think UND and USD would be great fits for the Big Sky.

So leave 89Rabbit alone, and let him support two great schools entry from the Great Plains region into any conference he wants.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:37 pm 
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Quote:


Yeah, JungleJim

Stop hounding 89rabbit on his posts.

I think SDSU and NDSU both would be a perfect fit for the Big Sky. Sure Bozeman, Missoula, Pocatello, Ogden, Flagstaff, Cheney, and Sac, and Portland are all considerable distances from Fargo and Brookings. But so are Greeley, Cedar City, Davis, San Luis Obispbo, etc. in the new Great West.

Bozeman actually is about 750 miles from Fargo, and 900 from Brookings. So what. The question should be are these schools a great fit. I think NDSU and SDSU fit in well academically, and enhance the Big Sky. They both would join Montana State as Land Grant schools and U Montana as all four I would consider flagship state universities.

If only the populations of the 2 Dakota states would be double or triple. They would be perfect fits for the Old Big 8, which would've mean they could've been in the Big 12. That or maybe the Big 10, joining UMinn, and UIowa.

I also think UND and USD would be great fits for the Big Sky.

So leave 89Rabbit alone, and let him support two great schools entry from the Great Plains region into any conference he wants.


sportsgeog,

Thanks for your support. Love your take, in your previous posts, on the different kinds of schools (Historical State University, The U.S. Morrill Act of 1862 Agricultural and Manufacturing Land Grant institutions with a Statewide Mission and National Research and Historical PhD granting capabilities, etc.)and how their state's populations played into their overall status. Great stuff, well thought out and presented. It was refreshing to see such thought put into a post. You did the University of Nebraska proud! ;D


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:40 pm 

Texas A&M Corpus Christi

location: Corpus Christi, Texas
currently independent
last football season: 1966

Formerly a Baptist college, Corpus Christi played a College Division schedule. The financially distressed school was taken over by the State of Texas in the 1970s.



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:58 pm 
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Quote:


sportsgeog,

Thanks for your support. Love your take, in your previous posts, on the different kinds of schools (Historical State University, The U.S. Morrill Act of 1862 Agricultural and Manufacturing Land Grant institutions with a Statewide Mission and National Research and Historical PhD granting capabilities, etc.)and how their state's populations played into their overall status. Great stuff, well thought out and presented. It was refreshing to see such thought put into a post. You did the University of Nebraska proud! ;D


Thanks 89Rabbit!

Go Jackrabbits!!

Personally, I think SDSU and NDSU belong in the Missouri Valley Conference, as they are truely in the geographic area of the Missouri Valley and those Indiana and Illinois schools are clearly not. It would sound good to hear South Dakota State vs. Illinois State, or North Dakota State vs. Indiana State.

Big Sky is certainly a great fit too! as well as the Mid-Con or Horizon Leagues.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:58 pm 
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I'm with you, the Missouri Valley was my first choice. However they just met and said they are not planning any expansion at this time. Would have been a long shot for us to go from D-II straight to a powerful Mid-Major like the Missouri Valley. I will be happy with which ever option works out for us.

Off subject just a bit, didn't know if you heard but the Jackrabbits and Huskers are going to be in a Women's B-Ball tourney together later this year (although they will not meet head to head). It is great for our program to be in such good company.

Here is a link to the Jackrabbit board and more details if you are interested:

http://diaafootball.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=sdsubb;action=display;num=1086826861


Last edited by 89rabbit on Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 9:27 am 
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Off subject just a bit, didn't know if you heard but the Jackrabbits and Huskers are going to be in a Women's B-Ball tourney together later this year (although they will not meet head to head). It is great for our program to be in such good company.

Here is a link to the Jackrabbit board and more details if you are interested:

http://diaafootball.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=sdsubb;action=display;num=1086826861


No I didn't know that.

Go Jackrabbits!, well in almost every case except this one, Go Huskers! then go Jackrabbits! ;D

Good Luck on getting the best conference membership possible for SDSU and NDSU as well!


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