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College Sports, Division I, Education

NCAA Division I Conference Realignment Update

ESPN.com reported in recent articles the latest concerning the realignment of NCAA Division I conferences:

  • The University of West Virginia was “notified by the Big 12 Conference that its expansion process is on hold” according to a report from a source to ESPN’s Joe Schad. ESPN is reporting the “Big 12 is waiting on Missouri [to] formally to withdraw from the conference and that there has been some late ‘hard lobbying’ by Louisville for Big 12 inclusion”. Although West Virginia was informed by the Big 12 that the conference “was willing to announce it would be adding the Mountaineers regardless of the timing of Missouri’s departure”, this plan “has changed, at least for now” according to Shad’s source. The full story can be read here.
  • Representatives from the United States Air Force Academy (athletics director Hans Mueh, football coach Troy Calhoun and academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould) participated in a meeting with Big East Conference officials “for more than two hours and listened to their presentation on why the league would be a good fit for the Falcons” according to an ESPN.com report. The article noted Air Force Academy spokesman David Cannon “said Wednesday night that it was just an informational meeting with Big East Commissioner John Marinatto and Nick Carparelli, the league’s senior associate commissioner”. The Big East did not extend an invitation to the Air Force Academy, but it has been reported by ESPN that the institution is considering joining the conference in football only. The full story can be read here.
  • Boise State University interim athletic director Curt Apsey contacted Big West Conference commissioner Dennis Farrell on Wednesday (October 26, 2011) “to gauge interest in taking the Broncos’ other sports if they join the Big East in football” according to ESPN.com’s “source with direct knowledge of the conversation”. The source claimed “Apsey said the Broncos could be in a predicament in looking for a new home for all of its non-football teams, according to the source”. Media reports stated Boise State is one of several institutions that conducted meetings with Big East Conference officials on Sunday (October 23, 2011) to discuss joining the league as football-only members. The full story can be read here.

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm has advised, and continues to recommend, NCAA member institutions conduct annual discussions (among all significant decision makers and stakeholders) on the short- and long-term strategic and tactical needs of the athletics department in several areas, including, but not limited to, competitive success and program development. The implementation of any strategies and tactics in the areas of competitive success and program development may involve or require changes in conference membership. Colleges and universities should be ready to make immediate decisions on conference membership that adheres to a strategic plan if another round of conference re-alignment occurs in the next five years.

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About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

An attorney who provides clients with internal investigation, compliance, professional development and legal services.


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