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Friday, July 16, 2010

Not just the big schools

Sure, sure, we can talk about realignment amongst the Big Ten, the Pac 10, the Big 12, the Mountain West et al.  And while we've posted extensively about possible expansion in the Northern Sun here on MavBlog, other NCAA Division II conferences are making moves as well.

Nine DII schools in Arkansas and Oklahoma, who currently are members of the Lone Star Conference and the Gulf South Conference, have applied to the NCAA to form a new to-be-named league. 

Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, East Central University, Harding, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist, Southeastern Oklahoma State, Southern Arkansas and Southwestern Oklahoma State are the schools involved and in order to meet a deadline so that the league can become reality by next year (2011-12), it must submit a strategic plan, conference constitution and conference bylaws to the NCAA by Dec. 1.

In the event the plan does come to fruition (a likely possibility), the Lone Star would still have 11 teams, but the departure of the six Arkansas schools from the Gulf South would leave that league with seven teams (Alabama-Huntsville, Delta State, North Alabama, Valdosta, West Georgia and West Alabama). We all know what happened when the North Central Conference went to six teams after losing North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Northern Colorado and Morningside and we've heard some concern from the Gulf South about the league's future viability.

Here's the statement from the GSC website about this recent development.  Lone Star commissioner Stan Wagnon comments about the new league appear here.

By the way, just 48 days until Minnesota State hosts Northern Michigan in a nonconference match-up on the newly-planted grass at Blakeslee Stadium on Sept. 2.

It's great to be a Maverick!

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