Author Topic: Conference changes  (Read 183595 times)

Offline WUPHF

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1170 on: March 22, 2021, 01:01:44 pm »
Not for Asbury. The likely place for that school to land would be the HCAC, although I think that the SLIAC would do in a pinch.

Interesting thought on the SLIAC.

The SLIAC center of gravity is moving south and east with the departure of Iowa Wesleyan and the closing of MacMurray.  They will have 8 teams, but in this environment, they may be thrilled to add another team.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1171 on: March 22, 2021, 03:01:30 pm »
Interesting thought on the SLIAC.

The SLIAC center of gravity is moving south and east with the departure of Iowa Wesleyan and the closing of MacMurray.  They will have 8 teams, but in this environment, they may be thrilled to add another team.

What I was thinking of the most is that the SLIAC would probably love to have a travel partner for Spaulding. Although Spaulding has been in the league for quite some time now, the school's location is well east of the SLIAC's geographic footprint, and having a travel partner might be a way to allay some of the difficulty that Spaulding's location presents to the rest of the league.

The HCAC is already spread out between Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, so this would be yet another long bus trip among many for the likes of, say, Bluffton, Anderson, and Defiance. Nevertheless, Asbury's nearest collegiate neighbor (aside from UK) is HCAC member Transylvania, which is only a half-hour drive northeast of the Asbury campus in Wilmore, KY. That's a rivalry just waiting to happen. Heck, for all I know, it may even have been a rivalry back during Transy's two-decade sojourn in the NAIA, since both were members of the KIAC (now rebranded as the River States Conference).

The one obstacle Asbury will inevitably face, regardless of which D3 league (if any) it would join, would be finding a home for its newly-minted women's lacrosse program. Neither the HCAC nor the SLIAC sponsors that sport. In fact, the River States Conference doesn't sponsor it, either; the Eagles are forced to participate in a different NAIA conference in women's lacrosse.

I think it'd come down to which of the two D3 leagues would want to add Asbury, if, in fact, either one of them does. I agree with you that it would be a good add for the SLIAC, given the tenuous status of some of that league's membership. I don't think that adding Asbury would hurt the HCAC any, either. It seems to be financially solid and is academically respectable, with a more-than-adequate array of sports offered.

I wonder if Asbury intends to remain in its NAIA conference the way Nebraska Wesleyan did, or is that not allowed anymore.

I'm not sure whether or not it's still allowed by both the NCAA and NAIA. But it's a hard-to-justify expense for a small school to pay annual dues to an umbrella organization in which it doesn't even participate. And if Asbury could get into, say, the SLIAC or the HCAC, there would no longer be a need for the Eagles to stay in the River States Conference and the NAIA.

Are they not a fit for the SAA?

I can't say this definitively, but my impression is that Asbury wouldn't be considered academically select enough to be accepted for SAA membership. It appears to me to be a good school (and I can add anecdotally that the handful of Asbury grads I know would reflect that assessment), but I know how zealously leagues such as the SAA guard their collective academic reputations.

On the other hand, the SAA could be a good home for Asbury's women's lacrosse program. The SAA sponsors that sport, and that league includes other schools as affiliate members for specific sports (Concordia WI and Transylvania for field hockey, and Austin College for football).
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Offline huskereddy

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1172 on: March 22, 2021, 03:55:29 pm »
The one obstacle Asbury will inevitably face, regardless of which D3 league (if any) it would join, would be finding a home for its newly-minted women's lacrosse program. Neither the HCAC nor the SLIAC sponsors that sport. In fact, the River States Conference doesn't sponsor it, either; the Eagles are forced to participate in a different NAIA conference in women's lacrosse.
While not directly sponsoring WLAX, the HCAC provides the admin support for the single-sport men's HCLC and women's HCLC. Asbury would get the HCAC to seven women's programs and they could bring the women 100% in-house and not have to wait for their AQ. No MLAX at Asbury, so the HCAC gets no help there.

USA South wouldn't be 100% out of the question. Berea's only about an hour away -- bit of a winding path, though, and nothing Kentucky-adjacent like MSJ or Hanover. Could probably get to 7 of 10 HCAC schools in the same time you'd get to the next closest USA South school other than Berea (Maryville-TN)

Spalding could make a nice two-fer IF the Heartland wanted them.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1173 on: March 22, 2021, 05:08:29 pm »
The one obstacle Asbury will inevitably face, regardless of which D3 league (if any) it would join, would be finding a home for its newly-minted women's lacrosse program. Neither the HCAC nor the SLIAC sponsors that sport. In fact, the River States Conference doesn't sponsor it, either; the Eagles are forced to participate in a different NAIA conference in women's lacrosse.
While not directly sponsoring WLAX, the HCAC provides the admin support for the single-sport men's HCLC and women's HCLC. Asbury would get the HCAC to seven women's programs and they could bring the women 100% in-house and not have to wait for their AQ. No MLAX at Asbury, so the HCAC gets no help there.

Well, there you go. Further proof that the HCAC would seem to be the ideal D3 home for Asbury.

USA South wouldn't be 100% out of the question. Berea's only about an hour away -- bit of a winding path, though, and nothing Kentucky-adjacent like MSJ or Hanover. Could probably get to 7 of 10 HCAC schools in the same time you'd get to the next closest USA South school other than Berea (Maryville-TN)

That'd be an incredible amount of travel for Eagles teams -- most of it over the mountains, which even that far south I can't imagine is always an ideal scenario in the dead of winter.

Spalding could make a nice two-fer IF the Heartland wanted them.

Yeah, I suppose it could be the case that the two Kentucky schools would be more attractive as a two-fer. Does anybody know whether or not Spalding has previously sought HCAC membership? It would seem to be a no-brainer, but I don't want to assume anything.
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Offline WUPHF

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1174 on: March 22, 2021, 05:39:10 pm »
What I was thinking of the most is that the SLIAC would probably love to have a travel partner for Spaulding. Although Spaulding has been in the league for quite some time now, the school's location is well east of the SLIAC's geographic footprint, and having a travel partner might be a way to allay some of the difficulty that Spaulding's location presents to the rest of the league.

Understood.

Offline hopefan

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1175 on: March 22, 2021, 09:05:03 pm »
Darn Greg!!!   It's Spalding, not Spaulding!!!!!!   ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
The only thing not to be liked in Florida is no D3 hoops!!!

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1176 on: March 22, 2021, 10:51:09 pm »
Sorry. Force of habit. I lived for years on North Spaulding Avenue here in Chicago, and that street also runs right through the NPU campus. In fact, I used to write a column for a Seattle newspaper, The Stranger, in which my nom de plume was "Captain Spaulding."
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Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1177 on: March 23, 2021, 09:31:12 am »
Was he, by chance, an African explorer?
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Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1178 on: March 23, 2021, 10:50:18 am »

There are a lot of options, I think, for Asbury.  Of course there will also be lots of moving conference parts between now and when they'll be in need of a conference.  Not to mention whatever further school closings happen this summer and the changes those precipitate.

If they can rope in Asbury, there's a pretty solid 8m/10w conference on the western side of the USAC that's a possibility - but travel partners with Transy or Spalding also make sense.  Who knows, maybe they lure TMU back and create some Kentucky conference? 

The landscape is going to be pretty fluid for a while, I suspect.
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Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1179 on: March 23, 2021, 11:43:56 am »
I don't see Thomas More returning to the NCAA. Wouldn't they still have probation to serve? I forget the timing now.
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Offline hopefan

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1180 on: March 23, 2021, 12:08:00 pm »
Sorry. Force of habit. I lived for years on North Spaulding Avenue here in Chicago, and that street also runs right through the NPU campus. In fact, I used to write a column for a Seattle newspaper, The Stranger, in which my nom de plume was "Captain Spaulding."

Captain Spaulding..... ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
The only thing not to be liked in Florida is no D3 hoops!!!

Offline jaller

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1181 on: March 23, 2021, 04:11:42 pm »
FWIW, Asbury and Transylvania were never in the KIAC at the same time. I was representing Asbury at the 1997 meeting where we accepted as KIAC members moments after Georgetown, Cumberland, Union and Campbellsville announced they were leaving the conference. In fact, they gave IU Southeast and us a few minutes to reevaluate our application given the massive upheaval of the day. We chose to join anyway, obviously. I believe Transylvania had left a long, long time prior to my arrival in 1994.
Even at the time, we were exploring possible D3 conference options but couldn’t find a realistic home given the travel requirements, so we stuck with the NAIA, though we operated like a D3 for most of my time there. I had the opportunity to attend a game on campus this year for the first time in 12 years and I thought the new AD (whom I have never met) is doing a fantastic job. The outdoor facilities are greatly improved and the game environment is outstanding. I have no idea where they will end up conference wise because the same travel issues that existed in 1997 exist today (going over Jellico mountain in the winter can be a nightmare) but I think they are well positioned to be a solid member of whatever conference accepts them.
Thanks for the opportunity to stroll down memory lane, Greg. I have fond memories of  my days at the ‘Bury.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1182 on: March 23, 2021, 08:20:00 pm »
Was he, by chance, an African explorer?

Funny you should ask. The name of my column was "Hooray For Me!"

Seriously.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1183 on: March 23, 2021, 08:22:52 pm »
FWIW, Asbury and Transylvania were never in the KIAC at the same time. I was representing Asbury at the 1997 meeting where we accepted as KIAC members moments after Georgetown, Cumberland, Union and Campbellsville announced they were leaving the conference. In fact, they gave IU Southeast and us a few minutes to reevaluate our application given the massive upheaval of the day. We chose to join anyway, obviously. I believe Transylvania had left a long, long time prior to my arrival in 1994.
Even at the time, we were exploring possible D3 conference options but couldn’t find a realistic home given the travel requirements, so we stuck with the NAIA, though we operated like a D3 for most of my time there. I had the opportunity to attend a game on campus this year for the first time in 12 years and I thought the new AD (whom I have never met) is doing a fantastic job. The outdoor facilities are greatly improved and the game environment is outstanding. I have no idea where they will end up conference wise because the same travel issues that existed in 1997 exist today (going over Jellico mountain in the winter can be a nightmare) but I think they are well positioned to be a solid member of whatever conference accepts them.
Thanks for the opportunity to stroll down memory lane, Greg. I have fond memories of  my days at the ‘Bury.

Good to hear from you again, Jim! I was thinking about you throughout this Asbury conversation.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline Caz Bombers

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Re: Conference changes
« Reply #1184 on: March 23, 2021, 09:25:25 pm »
was reading on InsideHigherEd today about Ripon and Marian exploring a collaboration - which they were quick to say was not a merger.

Said it would involve academic and co-curricular activities. Wonder what that might mean for athletics. Marian sponsors every sport Ripon does except football and m/w swimming & diving. The two schools apparently only have 2,000 undergrads combined.