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By the way, has there been any confirmation on Del State leaving or is it still just speculation?
It is well past rumor and speculation, and while not "confirmed" by either side (these things almost never are), multiple sources from have indicated that yes, DSU and the NEC are having conversations.


What hasn't been leaked and discussed publicly, is what each side wants. Does Delaware State want to join the NEC with another MEAC partner such as Morgan State, or Howard? Does the NEC want DSU to commit to certain budgetary minimums? No one has reported what these discussions might entail.

IMO, Howard University is playing a huge role in the keeping the MEAC alive right now. But once they see the writing on the wall and concede the conference's inevitable dissolution, what is their "Plan B" - Patriot, NEC, Big South, ASUN?
 

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IMO, Howard University is playing a huge role in the keeping the MEAC alive right now. But once they see the writing on the wall and concede the conference's inevitable dissolution, what is their "Plan B" - Patriot, NEC, Big South, ASUN?
With Howard being a private school, I see them going north where there are more private schools rather than south where there are fewer. So if they leave, my money is on NEC or Patriot. Furthermore, and I don’t like to bring politics into this board but I feel I have to for this example, with what’s been going on in this country, I don’t see Howard wanting anything to do with Liberty anytime soon. So that’s one more reason I don’t see them going ASun.
 

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I think the northern HBCU schools should just forget about MEAC and look out for themselves. The best MEAC schools in football, fan support, and not to forget marching bands, all from came from south and have bolted. The leftovers not going to excite the larger HBCU community.

Delaware state and Morgan State should join NEC as a pair to continue to give their fans a Conference HBCU rival.

Unfortunately for Howard, Patriot League, America East, CAA are all full with even number of schools. Howard doesn’t have a peer northern MEAC school of similar status to work together as a pair to attract these conferences. So Howard joins MAAC to give them even 12 members. Then they join Patriot football to start DC rivalry with Georgetown.

With the Meac in full titanic mode, NCC, SCSU and Norfolk join ASUN as 10, 11 and 12th member. They also put their football in Big South also as 10, 11 and 12th member. They get to find some old b-ball and football HBCU rivals in both conferences.

Rest of MEAC Members just fold and go back to Div2.
 

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It is well past rumor and speculation, and while not "confirmed" by either side (these things almost never are), multiple sources from have indicated that yes, DSU and the NEC are having conversations.

Yeah, I had seen and read that article as well. I agree that there is something there, I was just wondering if it had been confirmed one way or the other. Certainly appears as though something is going to happen, but I do wonder if Howard is really working hard to keep the league together. Maybe Del State is using this as some sort of leverage as they do appear to be in a little bit of a power position at the current moment after the other defections.
 

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With Howard being a private school, I see them going north where there are more private schools rather than south where there are fewer. So if they leave, my money is on NEC or Patriot. Furthermore, and I don’t like to bring politics into this board but I feel I have to for this example, with what’s been going on in this country, I don’t see Howard wanting anything to do with Liberty anytime soon. So that’s one more reason I don’t see them going ASun.
I have similar thoughts about Howard, but honestly don't know if they see themselves aligning better in the North or South. I think the NEC has a very good chance at landing them, but it might just be wishful thinking on my part.

Patriot - Probably the best fit it terms of conference footprint, academic peers, and institutional exposure. HU aligned with Army and Navy, plus some strong academic programs like Boston Univ., Colgate, etc. Some close rivals - American U. is across town, plus Loyola (Md) in Baltimore. But let's be brutally honest, while the PL (and the country) might be open to a such a move culturally and academically, HU as an institution has some significant administrative and financial challenges and its athletic programs would not be very competitive across the board. The Patriot currently has 10 schools and I'm not sure there is another program outside of Howard that would make sense (or be willing) to make it an even 12. IMO - this is wishful thinking on the part of everyone.

NEC - A very good fit from a budgetary and athletic standpoint, and if they join with a "travel partner" such as fellow HBCU Delaware State, it would make for a very easy transition. NEC schools are small without massive budgets and are very accessible up the I-95/Acela Corridor. While no obvious academic connections with the existing membership, HU would instantly have a lot of influence as the league's cultural and academic leader. It would be a great get for the NEC, but does Howard really want to expand its exposure in the Northeast with a dwindling high school populations, or does the NYC, Boston, Hartford, and Providence markets offer enough appeal. At just 10 members, the NEC has room for Howard and their partner of choice.

Big South - Home to former MEAC members Hampton and North Carolina A&T, this league has a compact footprint with a Southern flavor (VA, NC, and SC) in growing markets . Like the NEC, these are generally small schools with modest budgets. It should not be too difficult for Howard to compete athletically immediately. However, the Big South will have 12 member in 2021, so the question is would the Big South be willing to go to 14 to get Howard?

ASUN - The least likely due to their footprint in the Deep South. I'm sure HU doesn't want to associate with Liberty, but I don't even think it gets to that factor. Just too far from DC for travel reasons.
 

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I'd say if Howard bails then the Patriot League is almost near certain, unless the Ivy League is serious. Howard is the school every (white) American thinks of when they hear HBCU, much more so than Morehouse even though Morehouse is arguably more prestigious and has a much history with the Civil Rights Movement, etc. That means today Howard's brand is tremendously valuable. I'm sure behind the scenes every FCS conference out there is bending of backwards right now to recruit Howard.

Despite their losing record in nearly all sports--even when being in the weakest conference in the country--Howard is still in a buyer's market. My guess is they'll pick the Patriot League for its prestige and the obvious reasons.
 

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Looking at things from a different perspective, AE fans actually have an interest in keeping the MEAC together. They've sent their conference champ to the First Four 5 of the 9 years since going to 68. That includes the last three years. One less conference means one less automatic bid, which means one more one-bid league booking a flight on the Dayton Express.
 

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I'd say if Howard bails then the Patriot League is almost near certain, unless the Ivy League is serious. Howard is the school every (white) American thinks of when they hear HBCU, much more so than Morehouse even though Morehouse is arguably more prestigious and has a much history with the Civil Rights Movement, etc. That means today Howard's brand is tremendously valuable. I'm sure behind the scenes every FCS conference out there is bending of backwards right now to recruit Howard.

Despite their losing record in nearly all sports--even when being in the weakest conference in the country--Howard is still in a buyer's market. My guess is they'll pick the Patriot League for its prestige and the obvious reasons.
With all due respect, Howard isn’t being courted that hard by the Patriot. Yes, HU has a strong “brand” but if faces massive budgetary challenges and is not very competitive in athletics.

These are athletic conference first and foremost. It isn’t charity or a marketing alliance. Howard has a lot of work to do to find a new conference home. No, it won’t be forced to go independent or drop to D-II like a Coppin State, but they do not have an open invitation anywhere. Talk of the Ivy by some on Twitter is fantasy, and even the Patriot is a very long shot. The NEC and Big South are much more realistic landing spot for a variety of reasons.
 

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I know we keep talking about things that most likely will never happen, but you know what, it's covid season and I have a little extra time on my hands. So, my latest post is going to incorporate a few things that we know won't happen but it would be great IMO if they did.

With the impending doom of the MEAC, my hypothetical scenario I would like would be CCSU and Howard to join the AEast. Yes, I know...football kills that. Like I said, things that will not happen. I also understand that gives the conference 2 more mouths to feed from the NCAA Tourney money. But, on the flip side, it could also lower travel budgets if a couple more conference games are added to the schedule that are within close proximity to other league members. I love the thought of adding another public state institution located in the middle of the conference geographically as well as adding another institution in Howard with an excellent academic reputation.

And, yes, I know most feel travel partners won't ever be a thing again, but this scenario would actually work out pretty well. In fact, it could cut down expenses quite a bit IMO. Before I do the pairings, it is worth noting that UMaine to UNH is 199 miles while UMaine to UM-Lowell is 236 miles. UVM to UNH is 188 miles while UVM to UM-Lowell is 198 miles. So really, who Maine or Vermont get paired with isn't a big deal. Anyway...here we go:

Maine/UNH - as stated, 199 miles apart
Vermont/Lowell - again, as stated, 198 miles apart
Albany/Bing - 138 miles apart
Stony Brook/NJIT - 73 miles (but probably 2 hrs driving time)
Hartford/CCSU - 12 miles
UMBC/Howard - 31 miles

In that scenario, you have 22 conference games with 5 road trips. I know we like our non-conference games, but this makes scheduling a little easier for all schools while also helping to control the travel budget a little more. For schools located in the middle of the conference footprint, I'm not sure they fly to any conference opponent. But, when I think of the schools at the tips of the footprint, they do. If UMBC only had to fly twice in conference action, I am guessing it would save them quite a bit of money. In fact, they could split the difference and fly into Boston, Manchester or Portland and save even more money. However, the bigger savings and convenience comes into play when playing the last 2 sets of schools. You can stay at the same hotel (more nights, maybe a better discount or even some meals thrown in), use the same charter bus, etc. This also saves a lot of wear and tear on the teams as you are no longer making so many long distance round trips on a bus. I mean, if UMaine could do 5 round trips via bus (includes the single game to travel partner UNH) and 1 via airplane for their entire conference season, that is a pretty big deal. Who wants to go to Vermont, to UNH, to Lowell, to Hartford, to Albany, to Stony Brook, to NJIT, etc? You are looking at 9 round trips. Besides, on the trek between sites, players can sleep, do homework, watch film, etc. Those bus rides make for great team meetings as well as going over a scouting report, etc.

It also gives UMBC a school close to them, if that is even a concern. It gives Hartford another private school in the league, if that is even a concern. It gives the conference a pretty good buffer in the event more defections were to take place, though I can't really see that happening again very soon.

So, now that I have wasted everyone's time with a post about conference expansion that will never happen, I hope you have a great day.

*Edit
For comparison, here are the travel distances between the Ivy League travel partners:

Penn/Princeton - 46 miles
Harvard/Dartmouth - 131 miles
Yale/Brown - 103 miles
Columbia/Cornell - 228 miles

Those schools aren't really as close as some people think.
 
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I wonder if they just didn't have a dance partner to become more attractive to other conferences.
 
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The MEAC is going to have to expand, or at the very least, get an associate member for baseball, because right now they have five teams.
If I'm correct, the Patriot only has 6 baseball teams. I wonder if they'd consider some kind of baseball merger with the remaining MEAC teams: 11 teams in North and South divisions. Still schedule primarily within your division. Get together for tournament time.

Weird bedfellows, but it could work. Would probably make more sense to partner with the AE or NEC if both of those leagues hadn't just gotten to 8 baseball members (NEC w/ Merrimack, AE w/ NJIT).
 

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If I'm correct, the Patriot only has 6 baseball teams. I wonder if they'd consider some kind of baseball merger with the remaining MEAC teams: 11 teams in North and South divisions. Still schedule primarily within your division. Get together for tournament time.

Weird bedfellows, but it could work. Would probably make more sense to partner with the AE or NEC if both of those leagues hadn't just gotten to 8 baseball members (NEC w/ Merrimack, AE w/ NJIT).
I would guess the MEAC teams would more likely join the Summit League, which has just 5 baseball members for 2021, as "affiliates" and set up East-West division schedules.

That is kinda what happened back in 1995 after the demise of the old East Coast Conference and the remaining independents.

1995 Mid-Con Baseball East Division: CCSU, NY Tech*, Pace*, Post*, Troy State, Youngstown State
1995 Mid-Con Baseball West Division: Chicago State, Northeastern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Valparaiso, Western Illinois

For the 1994-95 season the Mid-Con absorbed the remaining members of the ECC as full members (Buffalo, CCSU, Chicago State, Northeastern Ill, and Troy). NYIT, Pace and CW Post were baseball affiliates.

2021 Summit League Baseball:

West Division (5) -
Omaha, Oral Roberts, North Dakota St., South Dakota St. Western Illinois
East Division (5) - Coppin St., Delaware St., Maryland-Eastern Shore, Norfolk St., NC Central
 

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How much money does the NCAA tourney bring to the AE?

Each game is a “unit”, where the conference of the two schools gets a set dollar amount paid out over seven years. So in other words, today, the first day of the fiscal year, all conferences got their last payment from the 2013 Tournament. The total usually comes out to around $1.5-$1.75 million, so divided by seven years, divided by the number of teams, there’s the answer per school. I dont know if NJIT gets any, or if they’re still entitled to six more years worth of ASun units. Vermont’s win over Syracuse, their PIG win, and UMBC’s win over Virginia, got the AE an extra unit for those years.
 

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The NCAA programs in the AE lose about $175 million a year in the aggregate. I doubt the $1.67 million per year (spread over over seven years) should drive the conference makeup.
 

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Discussion Starter #4,338
At this point I'd love to see Howard and Northeastern be #11 & #12 in AE.

Maine
UNH
Lowell
Northeastern
Vermont
Hartford

Albany
Bing
Stony Brook
NJIT
UMBC
Howard
 

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I have a feeling Howard is CAA bound when JMU goes fbs.... if JMU ever goes fbs!

Can’t AE just add Howard and do 20 conference games like Maac and now Big East with 11 members? I think the presence in DC will be very good for the conference. And doesn’t stretch the footprint.
 
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