Fresno St. Alum wrote:
I'd like to see you guys get Belmont so that N.Alabama could replace them in the OVC. NKU works too, ASC will need to scramble to find an 8th member to replace them. Really they should already be adding D-II members. KSU is a flight risk already fb only in Big South. NKU has been talked about to the HL for a while.
Well, that could be a possibility. The OVC Presidents have already talked about adding North Alabama.
Here's an article I read from an EKU newspaper, The Eastern Progress:
By WESLEY ROBINSONwesley_robinson28@mymail.eku.edu
Eastern’s Board of Regents didn’t make any decisions, but it laid the foundation for the university’s future Tuesday, including the possibility of jumping into big time football.
The Board met with Eastern’s administration to discuss university business but did not make any decisions during its retreat in Frankfort. One of major points of discussion the benefits of moving from Football Championship Subdivision Football to Football Bowl Subdivision.
Making the move to FBS football is the best and fastest chance to take the university to the next level in 10 years, said Mark Sandy, athletic director and interim vice president for marketing and university relations.
“It defines in many ways how you are and where you’re going,” Sandy said of football and university athletics.
Sandy compared Eastern to Western Kentucky University before it moved to FBS Football. Sandy said Eastern had about the same enrollment as WKU prior to it making the jump from FCS to FBS football, but Western’s numbers took off afterward adding more than 3,000 students over the nine years while Eastern’s enrollment has hardly grown.
President Michael Benson said he recently met with the presidents of schools in the OVC, who insisted the conference was a basketball conference. Benson cited the overall popularity of college football as a reason for the move.
“The most popular spectator sport in America is football,” Benson said. “They stated unequivocally that they are a basketball conference.”
He also said the OVC is considering bringing in a Division II school, North Alabama, into the conference, which also has less stringent academic requirements and possibly does little to enhance the conference’s profile.
Benson said the Sun Belt Conference may potentially be one of the conferences considering taking on Eastern, specifically so that it can have a football playoff by 2015. He said if a move were to occur, it would provide much greater exposure than Eastern would get as a part of the OVC.
Ernie House, vice chair of the Board, said it wasn’t clear when WKU made the jump whether it would increase its profile, but ultimately has proved its worth.
“Has it been successful for their program athletically?” House asked. “But it has been for their success as a whole.”
The Board also discussed the need for non-mandatory student fees to move to FBS football and improve athletics. WKU imposes a student fee of $250 for athletics. The board also pointed to Radford University in Virginia, which imposes an $1,100 student fee for athletics.
Craig Turner, chair of the board, said the university must have an answer ready should a conference invite Eastern. He said the move is an opportunity for the university to raise its profile.
“It’s like our Good Morning America piece—we can’t pay for that kind of advertising,” Turner said.
Turner said no decisions have been made on the matter adding that the board wanted to find out more information about the potential move and other major decisions at the retreat.