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  • #31
    Originally posted by KleShreen View Post

    If it was mostly about money, why is it that many schools are paying to leave larger conferences and go to lesser conferences, where travel is longer and more expensive? And why is it that you almost never see any schools clamoring to join more successful and established conferences anymore, unless they are moving from a lower level of competition entirely? Schools are instead leaving established conferences with track records of success to go form their own conferences together. And then when things settle down and that conference has a top dog, the lower schools move again. It's all just shuffling until everyone races far enough to the bottom to get their postseason shots.
    100% agree...when they tell you its about the money, its almost never about the money...ask the folks at Hillsdale about that. They left a conference with multiple teams within a few hours drive to go to a conference more to their liking....meaning...can we make the playoffs there? Sure...then get your ass kicked in the first round...thats great..

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    • #32
      The other thing is it is more than just football. Suffice to say, IMO, it's a variety of reasons.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by ESU Warrior View Post

        I will agree with this but only to a certain degree. I think it depends on each institution. I feel Brandon's point is a major reason, but there is also financial incentives. Some schools like the GVSU and Ferris States have plenty of money to through around. Finances don't matter to them. I know East Stroudsburg received some money to play Ferris a couple years ago. East Stroudsburg could NEVER pay for a team to come play them. That is the disparity with D-2, and I am not complaining. It is the reality. There are some schools that have plenty of resources, and get a steak dinner on away trips while others that get a sandwich, bag of chips, and a bottle of water in a brown paper bag for their away games. If financially strapped schools can save money by being in a tighter geographic conference they will most likely jump at that opportunity, (but I agree they will also weigh the advantages of what the competition level will be too).

        When AB left the GMAC for the MEC it wasn't because they were running from any superior program. It was because they would benefit significantly financially from the move.

        Why did some of the GMAC schools leave the GLIAC? I'm sure it was more of what Brandon stated against the financial situation, although I am sure they are saving more money in the GMAC.
        Certainly my statement was not meant to infer that is what happens 100% of the time. Your post was good.

        I agree with the tighter geography. It makes sense for some, because as you said, it keeps the lights on. After visiting the area, I could see why Ashland would want to be in the same conference as Malone, Walsh, Tiffin, and Findlay. It makes economic sense and I don't mind schools doing that.

        I agree that there is a disparity. It's both economic and athletic. It's no different than any other division or organization.

        My biggest problem with schools reorganizing into less competitive situations is when they start claiming that they deserve playoff spots. Kle talked about it, but there are schools that typically finished 2-9 in a conference like the GLIAC or the MIAA and have moved to other conferences. Because of a decrease in competition, their records are artificially inflated and they start claiming their programs have improved and they are playoff caliber. I don't know if they believe it or they are simply gaslighting, but these teams are typically not that great and need to do more to deserve playoff spots.

        Why did some of the GMAC schools leave the GLIAC? The truth will never come out. Looking at many of the teams in the GMAC - Findlay, Tiffin, Ohio Dominican, Walsh, Lake Erie, etc., it sure looks like what should be the GLIAC East to me.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by KleShreen View Post

          If it was mostly about money, why is it that many schools are paying to leave larger conferences and go to lesser conferences, where travel is longer and more expensive? And why is it that you almost never see any schools clamoring to join more successful and established conferences anymore, unless they are moving from a lower level of competition entirely? Schools are instead leaving established conferences with track records of success to go form their own conferences together. And then when things settle down and that conference has a top dog, the lower schools move again. It's all just shuffling until everyone races far enough to the bottom to get their postseason shots.
          Because those schools know the sledding is tough.

          Fort Hays is the only program I can think of that has joined a powerful conference and actually improved their program, both in terms of perception and reality. Most of the time, teams leave a stronger conference and are perceived to have improved by the uneducated.

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          • #35
            I’m not buying the “ducking GV and Ferris” theory for the OH schools. There was discussion of an OH-centric conference prior to ODU, Walsh and Malone ever joining the GLIAC. It took longer than originally thought to develop, but there was a long-standing desire for it.

            As for Northwood, that would be a head-scratcher for me and you guys might be right about them specifically. Northwood logistically makes no sense in the current G-MAC.

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            • #36
              What were the old GLIAC North South Divisions? U Indy was happy in the GLIAC until being the way south school they were bunched in the North Division (trips to UP). If I remember correctly, a team or two located north of them were placed in the South Division! That's the GLIAC's stupidity that lost U Indy.

              As far as Hillsdale, the Hillsdale lady Assnt AD a few years ago told me it was the challenges of a private school competing against so many public schools in the GLIAC conference. So yeah - hard to compete for a private.

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              • #37
                I believe the draw for Hillsdale was partially the public/private debate paired with the overall plan that Walsh, Malone, Findlay, and Tiffin would be coming in the subsequent years. While that was a gamble for Hillsdale, I think they still fit into the GMAC geography just as well as they fit into the GLIAC (they are about as close to Ohio as one can be without actually being in Ohio.)

                Also who are the schools that are running from big powerhouses like GVSU and Ferris to smaller conferences? The only ones that come to mind for me would be Lindenwood to the GLVC, but I think they fit just as well in the GLVC geography wise and they have a more favorable public/private situation in the GLVC over the MIAA.

                Again, I think competition can be a factor, but I do not think anyone has left a conference on the pure idea that it will be easier to win someplace else, with travel budgets thrown out the window.

                Additionally, are schools expected to make a decision solely on football competition? Should you basically tell your other sports that their concerns are secondary to what is considered best for the football program?

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Uindy18 View Post

                  Additionally, are schools expected to make a decision solely on football competition? Should you basically tell your other sports that their concerns are secondary to what is considered best for the football program?
                  The answer is mainly "yes" if your football program is what the fans are excited about. The GVSU model was to grow football and then every other sport benefited from the excitement that was created around football and now every sport is strong at GVSU.

                  Interesting to me is that Indiana is a basketball crazy state but fans show up for football and not basketball at U Indy. Five years or six years ago both U Indy games I attended had over five thousand fans and people sitting in the aisles. One was probably their homecoming and the other was a Hillsdale game.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by michiganfb View Post

                    The answer is mainly "yes" if your football program is what the fans are excited about. The GVSU model was to grow football and then every other sport benefited from the excitement that was created around football and now every sport is strong at GVSU.

                    Interesting to me is that Indiana is a basketball crazy state but fans show up for football and not basketball at U Indy. Five years or six years ago both U Indy games I attended had over five thousand fans and people sitting in the aisles. One was probably their homecoming and the other was a Hillsdale game.
                    College basketball is an odd thing here in Indiana. Our HS games get so much focus that the smaller colleges (even the smaller D1s) are out-attended by High schools. IU, Purdue, Butler, and ND are well attended, but Uindy probably can only pull in a thousand fans for a tournament game

                    On the football side, Uindy football is doing well in recent years and attendance has been increasing. However, especially for home games late in the year, home games can be fairly sparse when it gets cold for a late season blowout over Lake Erie. The newer tailgating and hospitality areas within the facility have helped as well.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by michiganfb View Post
                      U Indy was happy in the GLIAC until being the way south school they were bunched in the North Division (trips to UP). If I remember correctly, a team or two located north of them were placed in the South Division! That's the GLIAC's stupidity that lost U Indy.
                      I thought UIndy left because the GLVC started sponsoring football?

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by BlueBlood View Post

                        I thought UIndy left because the GLVC started sponsoring football?
                        That was my understanding of the situation. Uindy had been stuck with the long Michigan trips for a number of years, and dealt with it because it was the only viable option. Once the GLVC came around, the GLIAC schedule was not longer a necessity.

                        Additionally, based on my time on campus (graduated in 2018), there was the growing rumor that they could move over and play in the GMAC. I personally am a huge fan of this idea, but at the time they were not going to consider this until a couple things happened. First, the GMAC added another strong DII school (namely Ashland). Second, a conference change was not going to happen before the AD retired (Dr. Willey retired this fall I believe.)

                        Again, all rumors and hearsay, but that was my understanding of the situation as of 2018.

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                        • #42
                          As I remember it, GLVC bylaws actually required UIndy to play in the GLVC when the conference started sponsoring football. My only point is that UIndy didn't just leave the GLIAC out of frustration - it was because they no longer needed (or technically - were not allowed to have) the affiliate membership. For all I know, they would have stayed a GLIAC affiliate for many more years if the GLVC didn't start sponsoring football.

                          As to UIndy and the G-MAC - that makes so much more sense to me than Northwood. They have longstanding rivalries with Ashland and Hillsdale that go back to the Heartland and MIFC days. They also have a decent history with Findlay and Tiffin. They are a fit geographically and institution-wise. The G-MAC home office is in Indy.

                          Again, a Northwood move makes no sense to me at all unless there are other moving pieces.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by BlueBlood View Post
                            As I remember it, GLVC bylaws actually required UIndy to play in the GLVC when the conference started sponsoring football. My only point is that UIndy didn't just leave the GLIAC out of frustration - it was because they no longer needed (or technically - were not allowed to have) the affiliate membership. For all I know, they would have stayed a GLIAC affiliate for many more years if the GLVC didn't start sponsoring football.

                            As to UIndy and the G-MAC - that makes so much more sense to me than Northwood. They have longstanding rivalries with Ashland and Hillsdale that go back to the Heartland and MIFC days. They also have a decent history with Findlay and Tiffin. They are a fit geographically and institution-wise. The G-MAC home office is in Indy.

                            Again, a Northwood move makes no sense to me at all unless there are other moving pieces.
                            I agree 100%. I do not think Northwood is a good fit, but adding Uindy and Notre Dame College would be fantastic for the GMAC and would save those schools a bunch in travel costs. Not to mention, the GMAC Commish is a former Uindy student-athlete (baseball I think).

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by BlueBlood View Post

                              I thought UIndy left because the GLVC started sponsoring football?
                              UIndy being the southern most GLIAC team but placed in the GLIAC northern division was the motivation that brought UIndy's push for GLVC football and ultimately football's introduction into the GLVC conference. Somehow more northern universities such as Hillsdale, Wayne State (and others) were placed into the south division instead of UIndy although they are four hours north of Indianapolis. UIndy always liked its GLVC basketball opponents but not such a factor now with GLVC departures of Bellarmine, KWC, St Joseph and additionally Southern Indiana likely to leave.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by TheDog View Post

                                UIndy being the southern most GLIAC team but placed in the GLIAC northern division was the motivation that brought UIndy's push for GLVC football and ultimately football's introduction into the GLVC conference. Somehow more northern universities such as Hillsdale, Wayne State (and others) were placed into the south division instead of UIndy although they are four hours north of Indianapolis. UIndy always liked its GLVC basketball opponents but not such a factor now with GLVC departures of Bellarmine, KWC, St Joseph and additionally Southern Indiana likely to leave.
                                Yeah, there is not much "Great Lakes" about the GLVC anymore outside of non-football Lewis. I always thought it would benefit everyone if KWC and Uindy swapped conferences. KWC would have a natural travel partner and rival in USI for non-football sports, and Uindy would fit nicely into a strong Indiana/Ohio-centric GMAC (especially if they are able to pull in an NDC and a Indiana NAIA school or two)

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