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

6 things to know about Bengals loss to Packers
6 things to know about Bengals loss to Packers

The Cincinnati Bengals got the Bill Lazor era off to a fast start Sunday at Green Bay before eventually wilting in the rare September heat and even rarer talent that is Aaron Rodgers. The Packers quarterback rallied his team from a 14-point deficit with a pair of second-half touchdown passes, including a 3-yarder to Jordy Nelson with 17 seconds left...
WATCH: Kentucky cheerleader screams at Wildcats defense after losing to Florida

Nobody wants to lose to a team 31 times in a row, and one Kentucky cheerleader was upset when that became UK’s reality on Saturday night. In spectacular comeback fasion, Florida ended up with the 28-27 win after trailing by double-digits in the fourth quarter. One Kentucky cheerleader didn’t take it too well after the Gators...
WATCH: Alabama releases lengthy highlight video after blowing out Vanderbilt

Alabama thoroughly beat down Vanderbilt 59-0 on Saturday, effectively ending any narratives that the Commodores were close to competing with the big boys of the SEC. Not only did the Tide crush Vanderbilt in its own building, but they did so by out-gaining Vandy by 600 yards. It was a beatdown of epic proportions, and the severity...
Marvin Lewis: Bengals ‘weren’t going to let divisive words divide them’
Marvin Lewis: Bengals ‘weren’t going to let divisive words divide them’

The Cincinnati Bengals were one of the few teams in the NFL that didn’t have a single player take a knee during the national anthem, deciding instead to protest President Donald Trump’s recent comments with a more subtle showing. Most of the players and coaches stood with their arms locked, and head coach Marvin Lewis explained the...
Former Michigan State DB Montae Nicholson grabs his first career NFL interception

The Washington Redskins took Michigan State defensive back Montae Nicholson in the 2017 NFL Draft, after the Spartan left college a year early. Now, Nicholson is intercepting potential NFL MVP candidates. On Oakland quarterback Derek Carr’s first pass attempt of the game, Carr was picked by Nicholson for the first interception...
More Stories