Ohio Valley Conference Sigh of Relief
(St. Louis, MO) – After one month of wondering if one of its top basketball programs was leaving for a new league, Ohio Valley Conference administrators and fans are breathing a collective sigh of relief today. Murray State is staying put. While the door for a future departure is not completely shut, the Racers are members of the OVC for the 2017-18 competitive seasons.
Monday night’s Missouri Valley Conference presidents’ vote determined the Valley would invite Valparaiso and no one else … for now. Persistent rumors are that the Valley wanted one team now and is looking to grow the league again in the near future, and that Murray will continue to be on the league’s radar.
Murray State Athletic Director Allen Ward has been a strong advocate of his team moving to the Valley and didn’t mask his disappointment, but says the Racer athletic program is solid and will continue to be successful no matter what league they are in.
Ward wouldn’t speculate on a possible future move to the Valley, only saying that he would listen to anyone who came calling and that Murray State is still a proud member of the Ohio Valley Conference. MSU has won four conference championships this school year and the basketball team’s down year, was their first sub .500 season in the last 30.
With the conference basketball tournament moving to Evansville next season, a Murray State move to the MVC would have had a negative affect on the tournament’s attendance, now that fear has been pushed aside.
Valparaiso, Murray State, UW-Milwaukee and Nebraska-Omaha were all being considered for MVC expansion and the Horizon League power was the only program invited in. Murray State is one of the founding members of the OVC.