Contacted, Offered use what ever word you want.valleychamp wrote:"contact" in this instance is a very loose term. I'm sure there has been "contact" between the Sun Belt and many, many FCS teams including a good number of Valley teams.
arkstfan wrote:I was involved on the edges when the WAC took three Sun Belt teams back in 2004 and a large number of FCS schools were contacted. I cannot state how Karl Benson has handled this but I know how Commissioner Waters handled it.
He created a list of FCS schools in every state bordering the existing Sun Belt and in each state with a Sun Belt school.
From that list he scratched a number of schools (known funding issues, poor reputation within the athletic community for compliance regardless of whether there were actual violation cases, schools the internal politics of the league would preclude inviting).
Working off that list he contacted each institution to determine if reclassifying FBS was a possibility. If the answer was "No" call over, nothing to talk about.
If the answer was "Yes" then began the interrogation. Budgets, facilities, plans in place, timeline, other sports sponsored, commitment level to those sports, etc.
During the process one school approached the league requesting membership but lacked football and was thanked nicely for their interest.
The initial reach-out period identified eight potential members.
-Two were ruled out because their financials were deemed inadequate to fund competitive programs (if you were paying attention back then one of them made news for their "move" to FBS).
-Three were ruled because they were looking at longer timelines than the league could accomodate, one of those wouldn't even give a firm timeline and from time to time their fans fill their need to feel relevant by proudly proclaiming the Sun Belt is so bad they "turned down" the Sun Belt, when it reality they wanted in they just couldn't guarantee a date (if ever) that they would be FBS thus ending consideration.
None of those five names ever put before the presidents for consideration though the presidents were aware of them.
One was deemed unlikely to gain support (two influential presidents when briefed on the names being considered objected strongly). Likewise their name never reached consideration.
The final two affirmed their committment and timeline and were put before the membership and invited.
Getting info out the new Sun Belt office is more difficult now but based on what I've heard, one Valley member can have an invitation if they will upgrade their stadium and ask for an invite they can have full membership. I heard that three other Valley members had been contacted because of public or private statements of interest in FBS, that none were far enough along to warrant further discussion but if their situation were to change that it would be unlikely they would be considered for full membership because of travel.
arkstfan wrote:Missouri State (at least as of March) would have been accepted full if they were to ask. The dynamic has changed some but feel that is likely still the case. The two Arkansas schools without a doubt have not had a change of heart, the Bears are a bus trip for them.
CaseyGarrisonforPrez wrote:arkstfan wrote:Missouri State (at least as of March) would have been accepted full if they were to ask. The dynamic has changed some but feel that is likely still the case. The two Arkansas schools without a doubt have not had a change of heart, the Bears are a bus trip for them.
Thanks for the info. Confirms what I had heard from a contact in the OVC.
Good luck to your Red Wolves this year. I'm a big fan of Harsin.
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