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"WKU to take strong look at I-A football"


"WKU to take strong look at I-A football"

Picked this up on the SBC site, this would be interesting if it happened and IMO a very good addition.

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Selig: WKU to take strong look at I-A football

By OJ Stapleton, [email protected] – 270-783-3239

Sunday, February 06, 2005

In just a few weeks, Western Kentucky should have a good idea of just how feasible a move to Division I-A football will be.

WKU athletics director Wood Selig said Thursday that the school is currently building financial models and timelines to see if going to the NCAA?s highest level will work.

?We should have that complete in about a month or so,? Selig said.

?Before we make any sort of announcement, we want to make sure this is going to work for us.?

The Hilltoppers currently play at the I-AA level ? just a step below I-A ? and won that national championship in 2002.

Western currently has major renovations planned for L.T. Smith Stadium, which would make the aging facility adequate for Division I-A.

One other thing the WKU administration will watch closely is the April meeting of the NCAA Division I Management Council. It is expected to do away with the current 15,000 home football attendance requirement for I-A membership.

?We still want to wait and see what happens with that because it?s still not official,? Selig said.

Western averaged just 8,769 fans this past season, so the relaxation of the 15,000 rule would benefit the Toppers ? if they choose to make the move up.

Fans, players and coaches alike are anxious to find out if Western is indeed going to leave I-AA.

WKU football coach David Elson said he is asked about I-A all the time when he is recruiting.

?It?s part of the mix,? Elson said. ?When (recruits) see the potential facility plans going on and the growth and the fact that we?ve been at the top of I-AA, it?s just a natural question. It?s a factor in kids? minds. It?s the highest level of college football and everybody has that dream of playing at the highest level.?

Despite rumors to the contrary, Western will not be joining the Mid-American Conference if it moves up a division.

?The MAC has not made any kind of overture indicating that they would consider us for membership and we haven?t talked to them,? Selig said.

Selig said playing I-A football as an independent is a ?recipe for failure,? which leaves only the Sun Belt Conference ? where WKU currently plays in all sports except football and men?s soccer.

?The Sun Belt will be our only option if we want to play (football) at the I-A level,? Selig said.

SBC hoops tourney

In other conference-related news, the Sun Belt may change its basketball tournament format in 2008.

?We?re trying to progress the tournament so that we might have it at a neutral site,? Selig said.

The tournament would be seeded, with the highest seeds hosting first- and second-round games. The men?s and women?s semifinals and championship games would then be held at a centrally located neutral court.

?That way, it rewards teams for finishing at the top of the conference, but takes away any home-court advantage when the NCAA Tournament berth is on the line,? Selig said. ?That?s really in everybody?s best interest.?

The tournament is scheduled for Denton, Texas, this year. Next season, Middle Tennessee will host and Louisiana-Lafayette has the tournament in 2007.
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"WKU to take strong look at I-A football"

I've been following that one for awhile now. They seem to play around with it every year or so. It makes a lot of sense for them to make the move. However not all powerhouse D1-AA programs want to move up. GA Southern is a prime example. They can definitely play on this level.

The vote to move up or stay down will be interesting.
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"WKU to take strong look at I-A football"

I've been following 1-AA for a couple of years myself, Georgia Southern is a team I can't fiqure out either. What is amazing is that a lot of these schools have great Basketball programs in 1-A along with Baseball.

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