Murray State Looks Valley Bound
(St. Louis, MO) – Murrray State stands ready to join the Missouri Valley Conference if they are invited. Or so it seems. University President Bob Davies spoke glowingly at Friday’s ‘special meeting’ of the Board of Regents about the possibilities surrounding a possible invitation to join a different athletic conference.
“We find ourselves to potentially have an amazing opportunity,” said Davies. “If an opportunity would present itself these decisions can be defining moments.”
Belmont University seemingly isn’t interested in the Valley, but Murray State, a fellow Ohio Valley Conference member, seems at least intrigued by the idea if nothing else. President Davies cautioned that no official offer has been made to the Racer athletic program.
Dr. Davies was careful not to call the Missouri Valley by name, and Director of Athletics Allen Ward alluded to ‘other conferences’, but President Davies was clear in saying it would be advantageous for Murray State to move up in competition and quoted his grandmother.
“We need to be mindful of national exposure and intense regional exposure,” said Davies. “We are a fine university, but as my grandmother once said, “You are who you compete against. This can transform Murray State.”
Sources tell us Valparaiso University is also a front-runner to replace Wichita State in the now, nine-team league. Many different people with knowledge of the situation contend the Valley desires to grow to a 12-team conference. The league itself has made no such announcements.
One MVC source tells me campus visits to potential candidates should be happening soon.
Murray State seems ready to say ‘yes’ if Commissioner Doug Elgin issues the invitation. MSU Athletic Director Ward says it could be a critical time in the university’s future.
“These are exciting times it says a lot about Murray State that we’re in the mix in these discussions,” said Ward. “The process is still unfolding. We want to be respectful to those who are waiting for news.”
The MSU Board is standing ready for another ‘special meeting’ prior to their regularly scheduled June meeting, for the possible MVC offer. The Board made an official decision to support Davies and Ward in cooperating with a ‘process’ of investigation.
One contact tells us the Valley is scheduled to make decisions as soon as early May, but my league sources have not confirmed that timetable.
After speaking with Paul Oren of Northwest Indiana Times, it appears there is great interest in joining the Valley among Valparaiso fans and administrators. Click here, to hear our conversation on his ‘Union Street Hoops’ podcast.
Our thanks go out to Justin Beasley (@JBeasleyWPSD) who was tweeting out updates from the Board of Regents Meeting. Eventually we were able to find a live stream of the event on youtube. Click hear and watch the last 28 minutes to hear for yourself, what Murray administrators were saying.