Javelinas Welcome Lonestar Conference Shake-up (with video)
KINGSVILLE - With the Lonestar Conference beginning to lose schools, Texas A&M-Kingsville Athletic Director Kenneth Oliver is content to watch the dominoes fall.
Monday's announcement that East Central University, Southeastern Oklahoma State and Southwestern Oklahoma State will leave the conference in 2012 is likely just the first of several moves that could make the LSC an all-Texas conference, true to its name. Or at least, very close to it. The rest of the Oklahoma schools and Eastern New Mexico are considering their options as well.
Instead of worrying, Oliver is excited for the opportunities a revamped conference may bring. An expanded non-conference football schedule is at the top of the list.
"We want to get Valdosta (State) and North Alabama on there," he said. "We'd like to get Northwest (Missouri State), Pittsburgh State, Nebraska-Omaha. It's going to open up those non-conference games where we can reach out and when we're having a good year we can go out and play some of those premier teams so that we can be one of the premier teams in the country."
Three Oklahoma schools prepare to leave LSC
Clovis News Journal
Eastern New Mexico University is taking a wait-and-see attitude on the possibility of three Oklahoma schools — and perhaps all five — leaving the Lone Star Conference.
Nine Division II schools in Arkansas and Oklahoma announced plans Tuesday to apply to the NCAA for permission to create a new conference.
Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, East Central University, Harding, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist, Southeastern Oklahoma State, Southern Arkansas and Southwestern Oklahoma State must submit a strategic plan, conference constitution and conference bylaws to the NCAA by Dec. 1.
The Arkansas schools are currently in the Gulf South Conference, and the Oklahoma schools are in the Lone Star.
Athletic schedules for the 2010-11 season will not be affected, but it’s unclear whether the schools will try to play in their new league for 2011-12. The LSC says its policy is that the Oklahoma schools’ withdrawal would be effective in June 2012, and schools could face financial penalties if they don’t play conference games until then.
SOSU, eight other schools to create new conference
Jason Della Rosa
Sherman Herald Democrat
One day after announcing its intentions to leave the Lone Star Conference, Southeastern Oklahoma State joined eight other schools on Tuesday in petitioning the NCAA to create a new Division II conference.
The members of the proposed new league would be Southeastern, the University of Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, East Central, Harding, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist, Southern Arkansas and Southwestern Oklahoma State.
"The intent of the conference is to group together similar institutions in terms of budgets and goals," said the presidents, chancellors and athletic directors from the nine institutions in a joint statement. "Furthermore, the conference is intended to be made up of universities that field an intercollegiate football program. Our most important goals in this new endeavor are to limit time away from class and limit our travel costs."
Three Oklahoma schools leaving LSCBy BRAD KEITH
The exodus from the Lone Star Conference has begun.
Three LSC members in Oklahoma have notified conference officials of their plan to withdraw from the league, LSC Commissioner Stan Wagnon confirmed in a prepared statement Monday afternoon.
"The Lone Star Conference has been notified that East Central University, Southeastern Oklahoma State Universityand Southwestern Oklahoma State University plan to withdraw from the league," Wagnon's statement says. "Per LSC membership policy, the withdrawal shall become effective June 30, 2012."
Presidents and chancellors of the three Oklahoma schools and six Arkansas schools met last Friday in Russellville, Ark. to discuss forming a new conference. The Arkansas schools - Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, Harding, Henderson State, Ouchita Baptist and Southern Arkansas - are currently members of the Gulf South Conference.
By mid-afternoon Tuesday, six of the nine schools had posted similar statements on their Web sites saying they would apply to the NCAA for permission to create a new league.
"The intent of the conference is to group together similar institutions in terms of budgets and goals," said the presidents, chancellors and directors of athletics from the nine institutions in a joint statement, according to the release from Southwestern Oklahoma State. "Furthermore, the conference is intended to be made up of universities that field an intercollegiate football program. Our most important goals in this new endeavor are to limit time away from class and limit our travel costs."
A release from East Central's athletics Web site says the nine schools joining the new conference plan to submit a strategic plan as well as a conference constitution and by-laws to the NCAA by Dec. 1, 2010.
"If approved, the new conference affiliation will begin on July 1, 2011 and athletic competition in the new conference could commence as early as the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year," ECU's release says.
But Wagnon warns the three schools could face financial penalties if they bail from LSC play before the effective date after the completion of the 2011-12 academic year.
"Withdrawing members are obligated to play all approved LSC athletic competitions with other members up to the effective withdrawal date," Wagnon's statement says. "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."
The defection would leave the LSC with 13 members, including three in Oklahoma that are also weighing their options.
Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State have sent letters of interest to the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA), and a source close to the situation says Cameron is considering a move to the Heartland Conference.
Central Oklahoma joined the LSC in 1987. Cameron joined first in 1988 and re-joined in 1996 after a short defection. The remaining Oklahoma schools all joined in 1995.
The only remaining LSC member outside Texas is Eastern New Mexico, and President Steven Gamble recently told the Portales News-Tribune that ENMU may also be forced to weigh its options. ENMU has been part of the LSC since 1984.
Wagnon remains confident in the strength of the LSC, which has included Tarleton State since 1994.
"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 says.
Arkansas schools leaving Gulf South Conference - al.com
Ark., Okla. schools to apply for new D-II league - associated press
Three LSC schools plan to bolt conference - Corpus Christi Caller
3 Lone Star Conference schools are departing - Tahlequah Daily Press
Gulf South, LSC schools to apply for new D-II league - Tahlequah Daily Press
Six Arkansas schools notify GSC of intent to leave - Times-Georgian
SOSU, ECU announce intentions to leave LSC to join new league - KXII-TV
How about some non-realignment LSC news?
Tahlequah Daily Press
When Kenny Evans took over as Northeastern State’s head football coach in 2007, he noticed the lack of importance placed on offseason workouts.
Fast forward three years and the atmosphere has been drastically altered.
“That first summer, two years ago, we weren’t getting five (players) to come in and work out,” said Evans, the Warner native who will be entering his third season at the helm in September. “We’re starting to change the culture and the thinking, and guys realize how important it (weight lifting) is.”
The RiverHawks, who went 2-9 overall and 2-3 in Lone Star Conference play in 2009, have engaged in a strenuous offseason regiment this summer with an average turnout of 30 to 35 players on a daily basis, according to Evans’ estimations.
Evans acknowledged that 2010 offseason training sessions could be more vital than years gone by.
“This year, it may be more important than ever,” he said. “Because we’ll have a shorter preseason because the NCAA has taken off one week of preseason practice for Division II schools.
“So we’ll only have three weeks to prepare for our first game, so it’s very important that our guys come arrive in shape.”
Introducing Anthony Armstrong, The Redskins' Underdog
Disney has made more than a few dollars over the years making movies about underdogs overcoming the odds and accomplishing something special in the world of professional sports. Well, someone should call the Magic Kingdom, because Redskins receiver Anthony Armstrong is ready for his close up.
Carrigan named QBs coach at TarletonBy BRAD KEITH
Tarleton State's new quarterbacks coach has ties to the Lone Star Conference going back to 1998.
Justin Carrigan has joined the Tarleton staff after serving as offensive program coordinator at Division I FCS Texas-El Paso (UTEP) last year. Before going to UTEP, Carrigan was passing game coordinator at LSC member Midwestern State from 2006-08. He coached receivers at MSU in 2006 and 2007 before moving to quarterbacks in 2008.
"Justin has studied his whole career to be a quarterbacks coach," new Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler said.
Carrigan helped Midwestern to impressive averages of 44.5 points and 549.4 yards per game in 2007, after racking up 35.8 points and 436.5 yards in 2006. The Mustangs' averages dipped to 25.2 points and 319.2 yards in 2008. At UTEP last year, the Miners averaged 29.8 points and 428.7 yards on their way to going 4-8.
Before being hired full time at MSU, Carrigan served the Mustangs as a graduate assistant in 2005. He played defensive back for Angelo State from 1998-2002, and was a two-time All-LSC South pick.
"Besides studying to be a quarterbacks coach, he played defensive back," Fowler said. "He can give our quarterbacks a real picture of what's going on back there."
Fowler, who was named head coach in March after serving Tarleton as defensive coordinator the last two seasons, coached alongside Carrigan at MSU for three years.
"Our relationship has everything to do with why he's here," Fowler said. "From the moment I met him, I knew he was going to be a great coach. He's a ready, aim, fire guy. He does everything 100 miles per hour."
Carrigan says he came to Tarleton for two reasons: to win, and to work for Fowler.
"I chose Tarleton for the winning tradition and its longstanding reputation as a top-notch program in the LSC," Carrigan said in a report published on the Web at tarletonsports.com. "The second part of that is Coach Fowler. The opportunity to come work with such a family-oriented guy means a lot to me and my wife. Winning championships here is going to be exciting."
Carrigan will be working with Nick Stephens, who is expected to be the starting quarterback after transferring to Tarleton from Tennessee where he started six games in 2008. Tarleton's other quarterbacks include Aaron Doyle, Casey Page, Jake Fenske and Jackson Crawley.
Carrigan began duties on campus last week, and is among the coaches at this week's Tarleton Fundamentals Football Camp for area youth.
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