HL commissioner says conference prepared for Valpo depature


The Missouri Valley Conference announced Tuesday it has extended an invitation to Valparaiso University, one of Wright State’s top rivals in the Horizon League.

In a statement posted to the MVC Twitter account, the conference said the invitation is for Valpo to become a member on July 1, and added “there will be no further comment, pending the negotiation of terms.”

A spokesperson for Valparaiso declined comment, and HL commissioner Jon LeCrone said the league is waiting to hear from school officials.

›› RELATED: Two WSU softball players make first team all league

“We have not been advised by Valpo that they intend to withdraw,” LeCrone said. “So the process is not yet completed.”

The Missouri Valley has a vacancy after Wichita State moved to the American Athletic Conference. If the MVC taps Valpo, it will be the second time in four years the conference has poached the Horizon League after accepting Loyola (Ill.) in 2013 after Creighton moved to the Big East.

Valpo, which has been a member of the Horizon League since 2007, also was a candidate to replace Creighton.

LeCrone, a Vandalia native, said if Valpo leaves, the timing would not be ideal, but the Horizon League is prepared to deal with it.

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

“This is relatively typical of the Division I environment at this point,” he said. “There is membership movement. It’s been pretty regular. And there’s really not anything that happens any more that takes people by surprise. We have plans in place. We have proactive plans. We have transitional plans.

“If Valpo was, indeed, going to accept the Missouri Valley’s invitation, then we would have to re-do our schedules for next year in all of our sports,” LeCrone added. “It’s not like we haven’t done that before. It’s do-able. I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s difficult. But we’ve done that before and would be able to do that again.”

LeCrone declined to comment on any potential fines or penalties that would be levied against Valpo for leaving on such short notice, and he said it is difficult to say whether the HL would be able to find a replacement in time for the 2017-18 season.

›› MORE: Forward picks Wright State over Milwaukee

“We don’t control the timeline 100 percent ourselves,” he said. “If a member is transitioning in, then they certainly have a process they have to go through and we have to be cognizant of that. If the member is transitioning out, they have to make an institutional decision based on their needs, so we don’t control the whole transition piece of timing.

“We have an active and fluid possible candidate list because we get frequent calls about schools who might want to investigate coming to our league,” he added. “In today’s day and age, things move a lot quicker than they used to. So at this point I wouldn’t rule out anything because we’ve been working on expansion for a long time. Our No. 1 goal is to do everything in our power to help our current members improve and flourish.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Alaskan woman sets world powerlifting record
Alaskan woman sets world powerlifting record

A woman from Alaska set a squat world record by lifting 603 pounds during the World Open Powerlifting Championships in Pilsen, Czech Republic on Friday, KTUU reported. Natalie Hanson of Bethel, competing in the 185-pound class, shattered the mark of 591 pounds set by Kozlova Olena of the Ukraine in 2014. A video clip posted by the International...
MAC showdown photo gallery: Marion Local vs. Coldwater
MAC showdown photo gallery: Marion Local vs. Coldwater

It’ll be recorded as a 33-0 Marion Local blowout of Coldwater, but Friday’s Division VI, Region 24 regional high school football playoff regional final at Sidney was much more. It was the first time the Midwest Athletic Conference powers had played in the postseason. Marion Local (13-0) advances to a Week 14 state semifinal against Findlay...
Cincinnati Bengals High 5: Five questions with Brian Hill
Cincinnati Bengals High 5: Five questions with Brian Hill

Joe Mixon is no longer the Cincinnati Bengals running back with the most impressive college stats after the team signed Brian Hill off the Atlanta Falcons practice squad on Tuesday. A fifth-round pick of the Falcons, Hill gives the Bengals depth in the backfield after Jeremy Hill elected to have season-ending ankle surgery...
Bowling: Hefelfinger, 85, turns back the clock, rolls 279 game
Bowling: Hefelfinger, 85, turns back the clock, rolls 279 game

Family and friends are a given, but Gene Hefelfinger has something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The 85-year-old Phillipsburg bowler surpassed his 180 average by almost 100 pins with a 279 game in the Church Fellowship League at Thunderbowl Lanes on Monday. Hefelfinger, who has been on the lanes for seven decades, finished with a 223-226-279&mdash...
Outdoors: Deer gun season should find large, healthy herd

When Ohio’s deer hunters head out into the field Nov. 27 — opening day of the deer gun season — they might not realize there is something going on in the background. When they plunk down their money to buy a hunting license and deer permit, they are financing a sophisticated web of wildlife officers, supervisors, technicians, experts...
More Stories