Author Topic: MUW restarting athletics  (Read 3500 times)

Offline Hawks88

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MUW restarting athletics
« on: July 20, 2016, 02:54:33 pm »
Mississippi University for Women(Columbus, MS) is restarting athletics that was shut down in 2002 after severe damage from a tornado. They were previously DII and members of the Gulf South Conference but the article mentions the possibility of DIII. Not sure where they would go conference wise but with the way the USA-South has been spreading out lately it's possible. They are well within the SAA footprint but am not sure if they fit there(*-if the number I found for their endowment is right then nope). Possible travel partner with Belhaven in the ASW? They have been admitting men for 30-something years but didn't previously have men's sports and are planning to have them this time.

http://www.cdispatch.com/sports/article.asp?aid=51341
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 03:14:34 pm by Hawks88 »

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2016, 09:40:52 pm »
I'm going to be quite interested in seeing how a school called the Mississippi University for Women fares at recruiting male athletes.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.. -- John Wooden

Offline Hawks88

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 08:51:33 am »
I think they tried to change the name a few years ago but had enough push-back from alumni that they called it off. I'm guessing it will come back up with starting men's sports.

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 06:22:25 pm »
Mississippi University for Women(Columbus, MS) is restarting athletics that was shut down in 2002 after severe damage from a tornado. They were previously DII and members of the Gulf South Conference but the article mentions the possibility of DIII. Not sure where they would go conference wise but with the way the USA-South has been spreading out lately it's possible. They are well within the SAA footprint but am not sure if they fit there(*-if the number I found for their endowment is right then nope). Possible travel partner with Belhaven in the ASW? They have been admitting men for 30-something years but didn't previously have men's sports and are planning to have them this time.

http://www.cdispatch.com/sports/article.asp?aid=51341
Owwww, Another 150 miles (2.5 hours) east of Jackson MS.

Probably not.

They don't fit well geographically in D-3. 

SAA?  Too small of an endowment and not a member of the Associated Colleges of the South.

ASC? Too far east.

USA South? Too far west and no men's sports to help.

If MUW had football and a good complement of men's sports

and

if the USA South were to split back into the "GSAC" and "Dixie" memberships,

then possibly.


Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 07:09:56 pm »
I think they tried to change the name a few years ago but had enough push-back from alumni that they called it off. I'm guessing it will come back up with starting men's sports.

Alumnae, not alumni. ;)
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Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2016, 05:53:38 pm »
I think they tried to change the name a few years ago but had enough push-back from alumni that they called it off. I'm guessing it will come back up with starting men's sports.

Alumnae, not alumni. ;)
+1 GS. I am glad that you reminded me of the 1st declension (feminine) plural ending. 

Hawks is southern like me so I understood him phonetically...  LOL!

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2016, 05:07:44 pm »
My winking emoticon was because the graduates of women's colleges tend to be pretty hardcore in insisting upon "alumnae" rather than "alumni" (check out any women's college website, and you'll never see anything but "alumnae" used to refer to the school's graduates). I wanted to make it clear that I was correcting Hawks for reasons of pedantry rather than feminist ideology. :D
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Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2016, 12:06:46 pm »
My winking emoticon was because the graduates of women's colleges tend to be pretty hardcore in insisting upon "alumnae" rather than "alumni" (check out any women's college website, and you'll never see anything but "alumnae" used to refer to the school's graduates). I wanted to make it clear that I was correcting Hawks for reasons of pedantry rather than feminist ideology. :D
I was embarrassed that I did not remember 1st declension nominative case (feminine) plural.  (Alumna/Alumnae)   :-[

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 12:08:33 pm »
My winking emoticon was because the graduates of women's colleges tend to be pretty hardcore in insisting upon "alumnae" rather than "alumni" (check out any women's college website, and you'll never see anything but "alumnae" used to refer to the school's graduates). I wanted to make it clear that I was correcting Hawks for reasons of pedantry rather than feminist ideology. :D

 ::) Tell me about it. My alma mater, Goucher, was the first to name it's alumni office and building with "Alumnae/i" or "Alumnae and Alumni." They put the sign up as I was walking to class with my buddies one morning. We all thought the same thing: we aren't good enough, apparently, to be associated with some of this college's alumni (the 70s alumns to be specific). Goucher has now been joined by one other college (Wells), so I have been told per Goucher's example.

To be honest, it is ridiculous. Goucher and others wouldn't exist if men were not brought in (same with schools like Wesleyan who went from men's only to co-ed). The fact these alums don't understand that they and others clearly were not giving enough money (which may have been impossible) to keep the school(s) single-sex isn't enough to pretend they are better than other alums. Furthermore, they could be alums of a dead college which is even worse.

It honestly drives me crazy and is one of the reasons I do not donate to the general fund of the college. Yes, I donate, but with my funds towards the athletics department (I know, it counts towards the general fundraising, but at least I know my money doesn't go to anything but athletics).

Sometimes alums have to swallow their pride for the betterment of their institution. It may sting, but it is reality. In Goucher's case, the 70's alums swear they were "promised" the school would never go co-ed. Of course, if you talk to alums in the 80's who were sharing their dorms with Johns Hopkins and Towson and saw enrollment falling... they knew the right decision was to go co-ed or they would be finding a new school.

Also, I get that a name change is hard to take, but there are institutions out there who have made it work for them. Stevenson comes to mind (since they are near me and, yes, I have consulted with them). McDaniel is another (for different reasons). Another example of how it hasn't worked is Randolph College. Formerly Randolph-Macon Women's College, they have got to get another name (among other things) to get out from under the former name and the confusion with Randolph-Macon College. The double-hit there is killing them. Though, don't get me started on the college to university name changes - that gimmick is also driving me crazy.

OK... off my soap box. Mississippi Univ. for Women would be an interesting add for DIII, but nothing unexpected for that region. Not sure if they fit or where they will fit, but we would certainly welcome them. Maybe Rust could finally find some partners for a new conference?
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2016, 02:49:04 pm »
My winking emoticon was because the graduates of women's colleges tend to be pretty hardcore in insisting upon "alumnae" rather than "alumni" (check out any women's college website, and you'll never see anything but "alumnae" used to refer to the school's graduates). I wanted to make it clear that I was correcting Hawks for reasons of pedantry rather than feminist ideology. :D

 ::) Tell me about it. My alma mater, Goucher, was the first to name it's alumni office and building with "Alumnae/i" or "Alumnae and Alumni." They put the sign up as I was walking to class with my buddies one morning. We all thought the same thing: we aren't good enough, apparently, to be associated with some of this college's alumni (the 70s alumns to be specific). Goucher has now been joined by one other college (Wells), so I have been told per Goucher's example.

To be honest, it is ridiculous. Goucher and others wouldn't exist if men were not brought in (same with schools like Wesleyan who went from men's only to co-ed). The fact these alums don't understand that they and others clearly were not giving enough money (which may have been impossible) to keep the school(s) single-sex isn't enough to pretend they are better than other alums. Furthermore, they could be alums of a dead college which is even worse.

It honestly drives me crazy and is one of the reasons I do not donate to the general fund of the college. Yes, I donate, but with my funds towards the athletics department (I know, it counts towards the general fundraising, but at least I know my money doesn't go to anything but athletics).

Sometimes alums have to swallow their pride for the betterment of their institution. It may sting, but it is reality. In Goucher's case, the 70's alums swear they were "promised" the school would never go co-ed. Of course, if you talk to alums in the 80's who were sharing their dorms with Johns Hopkins and Towson and saw enrollment falling... they knew the right decision was to go co-ed or they would be finding a new school.

Good point. I understand the reluctance of Goucher's alumnae to let go of the school's all-female past. But what you said about their collective inability to financially support the school enough to keep it a women's college is spot-on. Besides, going back to Ralph's Latin lesson ;), "alumni" is the first declension nominative case term for both male and neuter -- which means that the female graduates from the all-women era of Goucher aren't de-recognized by the change from "alumnae" to "alumni"; they remain part of the greater whole, female and male alike, inherent in the neuter sense of "alumni" used to refer to all of Goucher's graduates regardless of era.

Also, I get that a name change is hard to take, but there are institutions out there who have made it work for them. Stevenson comes to mind (since they are near me and, yes, I have consulted with them). McDaniel is another (for different reasons). Another example of how it hasn't worked is Randolph College. Formerly Randolph-Macon Women's College, they have got to get another name (among other things) to get out from under the former name and the confusion with Randolph-Macon College. The double-hit there is killing them.

Trine is another example of a school that changed its name for a good reason. Like McDaniel when it was known as Western Maryland, a lot of people erroneously thought that Tri-State University was a public institution because of the name. Changing it to Trine (the name of a prominent donor alumnus) thus made sense from a public-perception point of view.

Though, don't get me started on the college to university name changes - that gimmick is also driving me crazy.

Sometimes it's a gimmick, sometimes it isn't. When North Park went from "College" to "University" twenty years ago, it was to: a) reflect the fact that graduate programs now constituted one-third of the total enrollment, with a doctorate (D.Min. in the seminary) now the terminal degree; and b) accommodate the high percentage of Scandinavian students on campus who were not well served by receiving a diploma from a school with "College" in its name, because in the European system of educational nomenclature a "college" is either a privately-run high school or a subunit of a larger, degree-granting university.

OK... off my soap box. Mississippi Univ. for Women would be an interesting add for DIII, but nothing unexpected for that region. Not sure if they fit or where they will fit, but we would certainly welcome them. Maybe Rust could finally find some partners for a new conference?

That was my first thought as well. Poor Rust, which has been a faithful member of D3 for so many years, continues to be an orphan as far as conference alignments are concerned. Maybe the arrival of MUW can help to change that, inasmuch as it could give Rust a potential travel partner for a league willing to take in both schools.
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Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2016, 09:54:01 pm »
Holly Springs MS to Columbus MS is 124 miles, about 2 hours.

The ASC West doesn't want to go that far, but it looks like the USA South could expand that way more easily. (And do they then split into 2 conferences, keeping the affiliates in sports like Football in the USA South?)



Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2016, 03:05:12 pm »
Holly Springs MS to Columbus MS is 124 miles, about 2 hours.

The ASC West doesn't want to go that far, but it looks like the USA South could expand that way more easily. (And do they then split into 2 conferences, keeping the affiliates in sports like Football in the USA South?)


Splitting into two conferences isn't going to fly with the NCAA. The MAC has been grandfathered in and already has had pressure from the NCAA and Indy to change up their practices to become more like two separate conferences than one with two sides. ASC is looking at divisions in sports and will play with divisions, but two conferences under the same roof is a touchy subject in the NCAA with many wishing the MAC would actually be two different entities. Doubt any other conference including the ASC and the USA South would be allowed that luxury.


Good point. I understand the reluctance of Goucher's alumnae to let go of the school's all-female past. But what you said about their collective inability to financially support the school enough to keep it a women's college is spot-on. Besides, going back to Ralph's Latin lesson ;), "alumni" is the first declension nominative case term for both male and neuter -- which means that the female graduates from the all-women era of Goucher aren't de-recognized by the change from "alumnae" to "alumni"; they remain part of the greater whole, female and male alike, inherent in the neuter sense of "alumni" used to refer to all of Goucher's graduates regardless of era.


Trust me... it could be that simple... but the alums angry that men are on the campus rather have them or us segregated. It reads to the rest of us that we are not good enough to be considered part of the alums of the past... or they are too good for us to be in the same conversation. They want to be separated for whatever reason, be damned what actual academia says. HAHA

I should add that it is well known that alums from these particular group of unhappy woman will give to the college as long as the money does not go to men on campus. Thus the Women's Studies program is reportedly very well funded - or has been in the past. I had a few friends take Women's Studies classes as part of the liberal arts curriculum and to broaden their horizons... their stories of being blamed for the problems of the world in the eyes of a woman were pretty scary. Some had to leave the classes... but I digress.

Some of the attitude may have changed, but as long as the office/building for alums remains titled "Alumnae/i," there are many like myself uninterested in being all that helpful.
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Online jknezek

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2016, 03:32:34 pm »
I can tell you that the issues persist going the other way as well. There are many W&L alums that stopped giving in the mid 80s when the first women arrived on campus and have never given again. On the other hand, the school has greatly benefited from going coed and the alumni are, by and large, very generous. But there is definitely an old school subset that is still disappointed at best, angry at worst, over the change. Sadly we don't tend to gain mental or physical flexibility as we age, so I think it's fair to say W&L is just waiting those alumni out. Occasionally you see it blatantly or hinted at in the letters to the editor of the alumni magazine, but for the most part I think we've reached the stage where these old-timers have simply disassociated from the school.

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2016, 11:15:45 pm »
Thank you Dave. I actually wonder if this large conference would split into 2 distinct conferences for the majority of the sports but maintain affiliates for the AQ in football and a few other sports where both could not obtain the AQ.

Texas Lutheran and Southwestern join the ASC next year as affiliates in football. Trinity and Austin College start play in the SAA as affiliates.

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: MUW restarting athletics
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2016, 02:23:45 pm »
I can tell you that the issues persist going the other way as well. There are many W&L alums that stopped giving in the mid 80s when the first women arrived on campus and have never given again. On the other hand, the school has greatly benefited from going coed and the alumni are, by and large, very generous. But there is definitely an old school subset that is still disappointed at best, angry at worst, over the change. Sadly we don't tend to gain mental or physical flexibility as we age, so I think it's fair to say W&L is just waiting those alumni out. Occasionally you see it blatantly or hinted at in the letters to the editor of the alumni magazine, but for the most part I think we've reached the stage where these old-timers have simply disassociated from the school.

I wish my alma mater had seen the bigger picture... or even today, see the bigger picture. Maybe in time... but I am not holding my breathe. I get the anger and the disappointment with the decision from an alum's point of view... but I rather be an alum of a school still around to educate students than tell people I graduated from a college too stubborn to see the light and decide away from it.
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