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There is a lot of talk on these boards on why such and such conference is bad and so forth. I'm just curious on how people on this board would create a great conference. It's easy to play back seat driver. In great I don't mean being the next top conference. I am more looking at how to be a great mid major conference. How would you recruit member schools? Why would they want to join? What buy out clause would you include? What makes the conference more unique than other choices? How do you keep good schools (BU, SBU) from leaving? The key thing is how do you do this on a limited budget? Who knows maybe we can create a new conference, this is still America right?
 

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There is a lot of talk on these boards on why such and such conference is bad and so forth. I'm just curious on how people on this board would create a great conference. It's easy to play back seat driver. In great I don't mean being the next top conference. I am more looking at how to be a great mid major conference. How would you recruit member schools? Why would they want to join? What buy out clause would you include? What makes the conference more unique than other choices? How do you keep good schools (BU, SBU) from leaving? The key thing is how do you do this on a limited budget? Who knows maybe we can create a new conference, this is still America right?
Good question.

To me, it all starts with dropping the pettiness that seems to permeate throughout the Northeastern landscape.......New England specifically. I think that the ultimate collegiate athletic conference in the Northeast could have been:

Maine
UNH
UMass
URI
Albany
Stony Brook
Delaware
Towson
JMU
W&M

I know that this will never be due to current and historic athletic circumstances (UMass now in FBS, UMass and URI in A-10, others in the CAA, etc, etc)........academically, it would have been a very solid league. You are always going to have some schools at the top academically (W&M, UNH, UD, SBU) and some at the bottom (UMass, URI, UM, Towson).........but these schools would be on the same page for the most part. They have VERY similar athletic programs with the exception of the recent changes with UMass football.

And if that conference wanted to get to 12, I could see Vermont and Bing fitting into that group nicely.

I didn't really answer your question very well, because I have no idea how a new conference could be created..........might be an impossibility nowadays because of NCAA regs and other conferences in self-protection mode. It IS a mess though and will continue to be until the "big time" schools break away from NCAA management. Only then might normalcy and common sense prevail.
 

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Outstanding question GoBing and I assume the nice weather has kept people from answering it. Here is my take on how I would set up a conference....

1. I think it is important to have conferences based on geographic areas: this helps with cost in terms of transportation

2. You need schools that are like minded ie. types of instituions (public vs. private) enrollment size, budget size, academic mission etc.

3. In terms of expanding your conference I think you look at 1 and 2 when making offers and sell them on saving money for road trips, likeminded institutions etc.

4. I for one like the way the America East is set up for the most part. My biggest complaint is that out of our 8 schools they are grouped into what sport they emphasize the most. It would be nice to see all America East schools be consistent in the sports they support more than others.
 
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