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In a conference of comparable schools with similar access to basketball player and coaching talent, UVM has been at the top for nearly 20 years. It's not a great conference basketballwise but it is where we are.

In my opinion, it remains better for the school and the players to win in the AE than lose somewhere else.
So, you consider all 9 America East teams comparable to UVM? I don't. I'd count Albany and SBU as in the neighborhood. UMBC has had spotty success but it's hard to make an argument that they have been close to UVM in terms of success over the last decade or so. There are perennial favorites and bottom dwellers in every league, so it's a bit of a disconnect to say that all of the schools in our conference are swimming in the same pool, so to speak.

With that being said, I am not in any way shape or form suggesting that UVM should be in a different conference. I spoke out about this, years ago when it was last a discussion topic on this forum. UVM is much better off being a big fish in a small pond. Their path to the NCAA tournament is much easier than trying to win or get an at large bid in a higher level conference. You need only look at the past AE teams that left for other conferences, for confirmation of this.
 

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I said "comparable schools", not comparable teams. In an academic sense the AE schools are all fairly comparable. A degree from one is about as good as another. UVM is obviously the leading basketball program, and the expectation of winning may give UVM some edge in recruiting, but not an enormous amount, like Duke gets.

I'm in total agreement that for UVM it is better for the players, fans and school to continue being the big fish in the little AE pond.
 

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In a conference of comparable schools with similar access to basketball player and coaching talent, UVM has been at the top for nearly 20 years. It's not a great conference basketballwise but it is where we are.

In my opinion, it remains better for the school and the players to win in the AE than lose somewhere else.
I increasingly agree with this sentiment. We don't want to go the route of UMass of throwing good money after bad ("Well, no one comes to our 17,000-seat stadium in Amherst to watch football games, so let's upgrade to FBS and start playing at 70,000-seat Gillette"....LOL how do these people have jobs).
Realistically to make it to the next level we need to do so organically--a rising tide lifts all boats sort of way. Even Gonzaga got where there organically and rather than pouring money into new facilities and upgrading to the MWC. Admittedly it takes timing and luck, but the best trajectory for the program in the long term is to stay in the AE and continuing to push the AE forward. Our conference is mostly made up of decently sized (12,000-25,000 students) public research universities in a much better financial position than the smaller A10 schools like Duquesne or Bonaventure, or even some Big East schools. With the current state of higher ed I wouldn't want to touch a school like St Bona with a 10-foot pole.

That said, I'm in favor of kicking UML and potentially Hartford out of the conference to make room for Northeastern/BU/Deleware (or maybe Drexel) to rejoin. I think such a move could put the remaining schools in a better position. At nine members we're a bit thin as well.
 
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