Is Murray State in the Valley Mix?
(St. Louis, MO) – A “Special Board of Regents Meeting and Committee Meeting” is being conducted Friday at Murray State University. Does that mean the Racers’ athletic program will be joining the Missouri Valley Conference?
This IS NOT the Board’s typical quarterly meeting and agenda item number four is titled “Intercollegiate Athletics” and it requires ‘Board of Regents Action’. They could be deciding to put new turf at Stewart Stadium, for all we really know, but the timing is curious. We first learned of this meeting through a twitter post by Paul Oren (@NWIOren) of the ‘Northwest Indiana Times’.
Just 14 days ago Wichita State accepted an invitation to leave the Missouri Valley Conference and join the American Athletic Conference, and Valley officials have been contemplating a possible replacement for the Shockers to maintain a ten-team league.
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and others have speculated that Ohio Valley Conference members Murray State and Belmont could be on the proverbial radar of the Valley officials along with the Horizon League’s Valparaiso.
Jeff Bidwell of WPSD-TV says, ‘not so fast…’
For those hoping for an answer on Murray State/MVC issue tomorrow: pump the brakes. This is just in from Murray State AD Allen Ward: pic.twitter.com/SfNNmKVChS
— Jeff Bidwell (@AKAJeffBidwell) April 20, 2017
There are OVC officials who seem to be under the impression that Murray State has risen to the ‘favorite’s position’ to become the Valley’s tenth team. One reason for that sentiment can be found in Mike Organ’s (@MikeOrganWriter) article in ‘The Tennessean‘ quoting Belmont officials as being very happy in the OVC.
While Murray, Kentucky would not be a media market driven acquisition for the Valley, the Racers’ on-court success of the past three decades is a benefit. This past season ended a streak of 29 straight winning records and a stretch that found the Racers winning 19 conference or division titles. Murray is not one of the 20 largest cities in the state of Kentucky with just over 17,000 residents.
One OVC official, with whom I spoke, was unaware of the nature of Murray’s Board of Regents meeting.