The Bishin Cutter wrote:
I know these guys have wanted into Chicago, but I have to wonder what it means about schools like Illinois State and SIU, and whether the MVC's ranks will further thin in Illinois.
I'm glad they replaced a private school with another private school. I think it's bad news doing business with some of the system schools, as UIC is. They were chartered as "overflow" and secondary campuses, and in the shadows of the Big Ten, who have a tendency not playing nicely with the MAC and MVC, these conferences are smart to keep from further "dilution." Don't make it easier for the Big Ten when these schools with decent and long-running traditions work with so much less in terms of resources and support.
I'd love to see Valpo, and I think Detroit and/or Oakland would be alright, too, but that UMKC visit seems a bit strange.
President Bardo obviously was with the contingent that visited Chicago (and presumably Valparaiso). In the article it said he was leaning toward another school. He mentioned the other school's size, athletics etc. I'm only assuming based on him using the word "size", that he wasn't talking about Valparaiso. They looked at the UIC campus and came away impressed. We have a brand new, 7 million dollar baseball stadium going up (Loyola doesn't have baseball, which caused some anger among some of the Valley AD's). Baseball is the Valley's second sport. UIC has been to the baseball NCAA's, the soccer NCAA's (we finished with a 15-3 record in soccer last season). So I'm going to say the school he was leaning toward was UIC. By they way, UIC has an endowment of approximately 244 million, which isn't paltry to say the least.
It didn't hurt Loyola one bit that they have a huge endowment, that they convinced the committee that they are and will be spending money and that they are a private institution. The Missouri Valley, although wanting to expand into the Chicago market also wanted a private school. If they had gone with UIC, it would have been 7 publics to 3 privates, which would have caused a problem among the Presidents (also intimated in the article). This is one of the reasons why they will revisit expansion during the tournament, when presidents and councils get together, and discuss the feasibility of expansion to 12 teams and the possible addition of the 2 teams.
I still like UIC's chances, although the Horizon League is a good, underrated conference that's getting better and that, this season, is only 2 spots behind the Valley. It would be just fine if we stayed in the HL.