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The Missouri Valley Visits Are Over

(St. Louis, MO) – The campus visits are over and now the Missouri Valley Conference power brokers are left with huge decisions. Do they want to add one team or multiple teams? Which campus, facility and administration impressed them the most? Which market helps the television ratings?

Doug Elgin

There may be other steps, but the campus visits to Murray State, Valparaiso, Milwaukee and Nebraska-Omaha are over and Commissioner Doug Elgin and the university presidents and athletic directors are sorting through the findings and impressions.

Several outlets have confirmed that Valley officials have been to those four campuses and I’m told the campus visit portion of the process is over and  only the schools that have been visited will be seriously considered as a new member of the MVC.

Todd Hefferman of thesouthern.com tells us SIU athletic director Tommy Bell is a member of the Valley’s search committee, and that every Valley program has at least one representative on the committee, typically either an athletic director, president, chancellor or senior women’s administrator.

Paul Suellentrop’s round table of some Valley writers gives a great view of the varying opinions about what the MVC should do in terms of numbers of teams and which ones. Head to the Wichita Eagle and read those genuinely ‘informed’ opinions. Those are some of the most respected writers in the midwest if not in the nation.

Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinal confirmed Wednesday that UW-Milwaukee is engaged in discussions with the Valley. Dennis Dodd of cbssports.com confirmed the visit to Nebraska-Omaha.

The big questions remain.

What is the Right Size?

A tenth team keeps the Valley at a very manageable number for their existing scheduling and end of season tournament to go unchanged. Eleven forces the league into 20 conference games and that has both positive and negative ramifications. Divisional break downs would come into play if Elgin and company want to grow to a dozen teams, but those configurations both enhance and limit rivalries.

Which Teams?

Clearly Murray State and Valparaiso have a long-standing trail of success to bring to the Valley. Milwaukee and Omaha bring bigger markets, but they also bring hyphenated names. Clearly dropping out of the running are the Dakota schools, Belmont, Oral Roberts and UMKC. Of the four remaining candidates, Murray State and Valpo both averaged over 3,000 fans per game last year, while Omaha and Milwaukee attracted less than 2,000 per game despite being in larger markets.

If the Valley lands Murray State, Omaha and one of the other two teams, then they will have affected three other midmajor conferences. If, however both Milwaukee and Valparaiso move to the MVC, the Horizon league would sustain the major blow of losing two important programs.

We should know soon. Several sources have indicated to me that league officials want this done by early May.

Stay tuned.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Jei Roggu

    April 28, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Great. Let’s just wish for the best. But if Murray St. gets chosen as the next candidate school (or one of the next) to replace Wichita St., then it would mean chaos in the OVC, putting that conference to 11 schools and forcefully drop out the 2 divisions.

  2. Harry Schroeder

    Harry Schroeder

    April 28, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Our next round of work is on what’s next in the OVC. I totally agree.

  3. Jei Roggu

    April 28, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Exactly. And I wonder where would the OVC look on after to replace that lost member school in Murray St. (one of the few original charter members, alongside with Morehead St.).

  4. Pingback: Valley Hoops Insider reports the MVC is done visiting schools - PantherU

  5. Jeff Smith

    April 28, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    The OVC leadership and member institutions made this bed and they can sleep in it without one tear shed. Bye Felicia.

  6. Edward C. Trenholm

    April 28, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    RE: Murray State University admittance to the MVC.

    The Murray State Racers have accomplished the
    following from 2009-2015:

    1)Won 30 games in 2009-10
    2)Won 31 games in 2011-2012
    3)Won 29 games in 2014-2015
    3)Won two NCAA Tournament games
    4)Won two NIT games
    5)Won the Great Alaska Shootout
    6)Only team to beat Memphis in Fed EX Stadium in
    2011-2012
    7)Last undefeated team in Nation in 2011-2012
    8)National ranking of #7 in nation in 2011-2012
    9)School record winning streak of 23 games, 2011-2012
    10)School record winning streak reset at 25 games,
    2014-2015
    11)29 Year consecutive winning streak through 2015-
    2016 seasons
    12)2 All Americans, 2011-2015
    13)Numerous OVC Championships throughout Murray
    State’s illustrious years of Racer Basketball
    competition.
    14)And oh yes, we defeated a very good Illinois
    State Team in 2016-2017.

    COMMENT FROM AUTHOR: Gentleman on the Selection Committee, and with no slight to the other identified aspirants seeking admittance to the prestigious MVC, but I am quite sure none of them is able to match the Racers’ accomplishments over recent history listed above, nor over the less recent past. Murray State University has withstood the test of time and will flourish proudly in the MVC. There should be no question or debate about the most qualified candidate among your four candidates.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Edward C. Trenholm

    • Edward C. Trenholm

      April 28, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Obviously the Murray State Racers have the pedigree to bring honor and distinction to the Missouri Valley Conference. The intelligent and prudent course of action would be to admit Murray State University to the Missouri Valley Conference.

      Edward C. Trenholm

  7. Edward C. Trenholm

    April 28, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Post written by Edward C. Trenholm, April 28, 2017.

  8. Matt

    April 28, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Since 2003, the Milwaukee Panthers have three NCAA Tournament wins, lead by the Sweet 16 in 2005. 4 NCAA Tournament trips, 1 NIT and 1 CBI. This past season with a new coaching staff and in the new world of college basketball transfers, the Panthers lost by 6 in the Horizon League Tournament Finals.

    Milwaukee plays in a classic arena, known in the days as the MECCA Arena. Now named UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. New HD Jumbotron. Every seat was replaced. New teamstore. New concessions. New LED arena lighting. Bathrooms remodeled.

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