Tuesday, July 13, 2010

LSC Roundup 7-13

Scoop Editorial note - Despite numerous descriptions in the media, the LSC is not breaking up.  The SWC broke up in 1996.  The North Central Conference broke up in 2008.  These conferences suffered membership changes that they were unable to overcome and ceased to exist.  All conferences experience membership changes and the Lone Star Conference is no exception.  Since its founding in 1931, the conference has seen numerous member changes, with Texas A and M Commerce as the only remaining founding member of the league.

As for viability, the LSC is in a much, much stronger position than the last time a bloc of schools left the league together.  Back in the early 80's, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, and Southwest Texas State moved to Division I (IAA for football) from the LSC, leaving the conference with just 5 schools.  The three schools (SHSU, SFA and SWT) left with 5 of the previous 6 LSC basketball titles, 8 of 9 straight golf titles (with 4 consecutive national titles during that span), 6 straight tennis titles (with 2 national titles during that span), and most importantly, SWT left with 4 consecutive LSC football titles (national titles in 1981 and 1982).  Their departure left a much bigger hole in the LSC, both in terms of relative size and athletic performance.

Over time, new schools were  added to the league and the conference not only survived, but prospered and is currently one of the premier conferences in the nation.  That should not change with the departure of East Central University, Southwest Oklahoma and Southeastern Oklahoma.  Nor will the rumored departures of Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State have a devastating effect on the conference.  The LSC will emerge  with a strong core, and will field nationally competitive teams in every sport.

Call it a re-shuffling of the deck, maybe, or a realignment.  But the LSC is not breaking up by any stretch of the imagination.

3 Oklahoma schools to leave LSC
Ricky Treon
Amarillo Globe News

Southwestern Oklahoma State, Southeastern Oklahoma State and East Central notified the Lone Star Conference of their intentions Monday to withdraw from the LSC.

This is the second time this month the LSC has announced a membership shakeup. Incarnate Word officially joined the conference July 1 - the first change in a decade.

The three Oklahoma schools can officially leave the conference June 30, 2012, with no penalty, LSC commissioner Stan Wagnon said.

"I continue to work with administrators at those institutions that are committed to LSC membership, and we remain confident in the future success of the league," Wagnon said in a news release.

West Texas A and M athletic director Michael McBroom said he thinks the schools left primarily because of financial reasons and "a widening difference of opinion on the direction and goals of the LSC, which is to be the premier conference in NCAA Division II."

"The Oklahoma schools have evaluated their situation and developed a solution that better fits their athletic and institutional goals," McBroom said. "We are very pleased with the direction of the LSC and the leadership and vision commissioner Wagnon and the Presidents Council have set for the conference. I, along with the majority of my peers, have already voted to commit additional dollars, time and resources to further the conference strategic plan and create additional value for all members."

League's breakup begins
Nathan Wright
Scripps Texas Newspapers

The breakup of the Lone Star Conference has begun.

Recent rumors about changes in the LSC became truths Monday when LSC Commissioner Stan Wagnon released a statement indicating that three of the conference’s six Oklahoma schools have given notice that they plan to withdraw.

Wagnon’s statement said, “The Lone Star Conference has been notified that East Central University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University plan to withdraw from the league. Per LSC membership policy, the withdrawal shall become effective June 30, 2012.

“Withdrawing members are obligated to play all approved LSC athletic competitions with other members up to the effective withdrawal date. In the event of inability or refusal to meet those obligations, the withdrawing member(s) shall pay a financial penalty unless such competitions are waived or modified by written consent of the parties affected.

“I continue to work with administrators at those institutions that are committed to LSC membership and we remain confident in the future success of the league.”

Wagnon’s statement comes four days after a group of presidents from the three Oklahoma schools — along with the presidents from University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas Tech University, Harding University, Henderson State University, Ouachita Baptist University and Southern Arkansas — held a meeting to discuss forming a new NCAA Division II conference.

Three OK schools to leave LSC
Mike Kays
Muskogee Phoenix Sports Editor

The breakup of the Lone Star Conference has begun. Where it ends remains to be seen.

LSC commissioner Stan Wagnon announced in an e-mail statement on Monday that East Central, Southeastern Oklahoma and Southwestern Oklahoma plan to withdraw from the league effective June 30, 2012, joining Gulf South Conference members Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, Harding, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist and Southern Arkansas to create a new conference.

Representatives from those schools met in Russellville, Ark., on Friday to discuss the formation of the new league.

Still in question is the status of Northeastern State and Central Oklahoma, which last month sent letters of inquiry to the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, a 12-member league of schools based in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri.

Beginning of the End?: Gulf South Conference One Step Closer to Dissolving
Max Farrell
Arkansas Sports 360.com

The dominoes are starting to fall for the Gulf South Conference, as three Oklahoma schools left the Lone Star Conference and are expected to join the six Arkansas schools that are members of the GSC.

Talks were held in Russellville on Friday as presidents and chancellors of the nine Oklahoma and Arkansas schools discussed the possibility of creating a new athletic conference to reduce travel costs.

The commissioner of the Lone Star Conference made the announcement of the departure of the three schools Monday night.

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Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University


Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico