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Date Posted: Fri, May 20 2005, 19:41:09
Author: Duck
Subject: Re: UTPA to talk to SLC
In reply to: 91 's message, "UTPA to talk to SLC" on Fri, May 20 2005, 13:35:13

This is all very interesting. I am somewhat surprised that they didn't invite Abilene Christian, since they are talking to Tarleton and Central Arkansas.

>UTPA to make sales pitch to Southland
>May 20,2005
>Wade Baker
>The Monitor
>EDINBURG — University of Texas-Pan American Director
>of Athletics Scott Street knows this is the chance the
>Broncs have been waiting for since the school was
>ousted from the Sun Belt Conference in July 1998.
>And finally, seven long years later, UTPA has somebody
>who will listen to its sales pitch.
>The Broncs, along with four other collegiate
>institutions, will attempt to persuade the Southland
>Conference that they’re the program primed for SLC
>affiliation when Street, president Blandina Cárdenas,
>vice president of business affairs James Langabeer and
>faculty athletic representative Tony de la Peña meet
>Saturday in Houston with the league’s board of
>UTPA rival Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Centenary,
>Central Arkansas and Tarleton State are the other four
>"The way I’m looking at it, we have a chance to
>present to them what UTPA is all about," Street said.
>"We want to take this chance and educate them on why
>we should be a member of the Southland Conference. We
>have a short video, we have a PowerPoint presentation,
>and I have written material in book format that I’ll
>give them."
>The Southland Conference in January said it was
>"exploring the possibility of expansion" when
>Louisiana-Monroe announced that it was moving to the
>Sun Belt Conference in all sports beginning with the
>2006-07 season. With the loss of Louisiana-Monroe,
>that will drop the Southland Conference to 10 members.
>Southland Conference expansion will be discussed
>officially at a meeting in Galveston during the first
>week of June when the 10 presidents of the member
>institutions will be present, league commissioner Tom
>Burnett said. The Southland Conference hasn’t decided
>on how many institutions it would like to expand to,
>if it does go into expansion mode, Burnett added.
>"Right now, we’re just feeling it out," Burnett said.
>"We’re going to give the schools a chance to meet with
>our board of directors, and we won’t know anything
>further until that June meeting. After that meeting,
>we’ll have a better idea of what we’re going to do.
>And if we do try to expand, it doesn’t mean it has to
>be one of the institutions we’re talking to Saturday."
>Centenary is currently a member of the Mid-Continent
>Conference and was invited to Saturday’s meeting by
>the Southland Conference. With Centenary’s travel
>problems — having to board planes for practically
>every road trip in league play — the Southland
>Conference would be the perfect fit. Tarleton State
>and Central Arkansas are currently members of NCAA
>Division II but are exploring the possibility of
>moving to Division I, and of course, the Southland
>Conference would be the ideal league.
>Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who moved to Division I in
>2002, would also be a natural fit for the Southland,
>along with UTPA, due to its geographic location with
>the other 10 member programs. The Southland
>Conference, once Louisiana-Monroe departs, will have
>six Texas members and four from Louisiana.
>"I think this is our best shot," Texas A&M-Corpus
>Christi Director of Athletics Dan Viola said. "I’ve
>been here since the beginning, and I really think this
>could be our chance. I think the Southland has
>softened on their stance about wanting football
>schools only, and that’s always been our disadvantage
>in the past. But this time I think we have a shot."

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