Professional and College Basketball Forums banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,273 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The University of Montevallo announced on Friday its intention to leave the Gulf South Conference and to seek membership in the Peach Belt Conference, saying the Georgia-based league was a better fit for the Falcons.

GSC Commissioner Nate Salant disputed Montevallo President Philip C. Williams' reasoning, but wished UM well.

"Conference alignments are constantly changing," said Salant, who has been commissioner of the 15-team, six-state NCAA Division II league for 15 years. "Schools make choices based on what their CEOs feel are best for them. We just wish Montevallo had brought these concerns forward months ago so that we might have addressed them and encouraged them to stay in the GSC."

In a release from Montevallo, Williams cited three primary reasons to leave the GSC after the 2008-09 academic year.

"Scheduling is a recurrent concern," he said. "Our athletic teams have had difficulty in finding a sufficient number of (in-region) games to be eligible for postseason championship opportunities.

"The GSC is primarily a football-playing conference. We don't play football. The Peach Belt is non-football and members' philosophy and missions are more like ours.

"The Peach Belt places emphasis on game environment, sportsmanship and community service," Williams said. "Those are the kind of priorities that are aligned with our strategic vision."

Williams also said the new league, with schools in larger media markets, would provide Montevallo with additional marketing opportunities.

The Peach Belt Conference is based in Augusta, Ga., and has 11 members. Seven - Augusta State, Armstrong Atlantic State, Clayton State, Columbus State, Georgia College and State University, Georgia Southwestern and North Georgia - are in Georgia. Francis Marion, Lander University and South Carolina Aiken are in South Carolina. North Carolina Pembroke rounds out the league.

Montevallo Athletics Director Jim Herlihy, who came on board in February, said UM officials are confident that their application for membership will be accepted by the Peach Belt.
"We feel very confident we meet the criteria and profile the Peach Belt is looking for in a new member," he said. "You never know how the process will play out, but we feel pretty confident we will meet their expectations."

Herlihy said long road trips in the GSC have been a concern.

"The geographic spread of the Gulf South Conference has created issues for Montevallo and other members with scheduling, especially for the region games that are required for basketball and baseball," he said. "This has led to issues with missed class time and costs associated with travel."

The Gulf South Conference includes North Alabama, West Alabama and non-football schools UM and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Former GSC members include Troy and Jacksonville State. The league also has member schools in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Herlihy said coaches from Peach Belt teams had mentioned to their Montevallo counterparts that they should consider the move.

"We think they think highly of Montevallo as an academic institution and of our athletic programs for a school of our size," he said.

Salant said he is sorry to see Montevallo leave the league, but said, "We do not treat non-football schools differently than football-playing schools. We are very proud of the tradition and the rivalries in the GSC. It's a shame that they are walking away from rivalries with North Alabama, West Alabama and Alabama-Huntsville and others.

"Montevallo has been a good member of the Gulf South Conference since joining the league 12 years ago," he said. "A lot has changed in the NCAA in the interim and one of the problems is the new regionalization which puts the Gulf South in the same region with two leagues that do not choose to play our teams." Check out Perrin's blog at blog.al.com/pressbox. [email protected].
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Salant said he is sorry to see Montevallo leave the league, but said, "We do not treat non-football schools differently than football-playing schools. We are very proud of the tradition and the rivalries in the GSC. It's a shame that they are walking away from rivalries with North Alabama, West Alabama and Alabama-Huntsville and others.

"Montevallo has been a good member of the Gulf South Conference since joining the league 12 years ago," he said. "A lot has changed in the NCAA in the interim and one of the problems is the new regionalization which puts the Gulf South in the same region with two leagues that do not choose to play our teams." Check out Perrin's blog at blog.al.com/pressbox. [email protected].
As a Montevallo alum, I never know who our big rivals were in the GSC at all. I did know that our baseball team had a huge rivalry with Birmingham-Southern :gunner: ,and I vaguely recall us having a rivalry w/ UAH in men's soccer but those was the only rivalries I really knew about back when I was undergrad @ Montevallo.

I never knew that we had rivalries w/ West Alabama & UNA. Thank you for that information. I found out from the Christian Brothers U. website that we had a rivalry with them as well.

Former president Williams was right though. We were a basketball/baseball school in a football league-a league that was spread out too far!! Sometimes though, I wish we'd leave D2 for D1. Our basketball arena has a capacity of 2,000 (McChesney-Bank Trust Arena, I think) and our baseball stadium (historic Kermit Johnson Field)has a capacity of 145 approximately. Not that I'd want to join the SEC or even C-USA, but I wouldn't mind competing in a conference like the A-Sun. To be perfectly honest, no one really cares about D2 basketball, baseball, or soccer!! It'd be hard to leave behind our old rivalries though. If UAH or Birmingham-Southern or both agreed to make the jump with us, it'd be easier to swallow. I know BSC's already been in D1 before and dropped to D3, but we weren't there with them at the time. It might be different with us in the mix for them. Regardless, Go Montevallo Falcons!!!!
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top