The Missouri Valley Conference’s exemption from realignment worries is over.
According to multiple sources, MVC presidents will hold a conference call to discuss the possibility of Creighton’s departure. Creighton is a possible candidate for membership in a conference formed by seven Catholic schools that announced their departure from the Big East Conference on Saturday.
Creighton officials declined to comment on reports and speculation placing their school as a candidate to join the new group, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Georgetown, Saint John’s, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence are leaving the Big East. Numerous reports list Xavier, Butler, Dayton, Saint Louis and Creighton, a Jesuit institution, among schools who would fit with those private schools.
Those schools feature basketball as their main sport and do not compete at the highest level of NCAA football. Most of the schools linked with the Big East breakaways are Catholic, although Butler is not. Xavier, Dayton, Saint Louis and Butler are members of the Atlantic 10.
No plans for adding schools to the group of seven are public.
“There’s no target number (of members),” Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed told The Associated Press. “I think it would be safe to say that at the right time, at the proper time, that those things will be discussed and dealt with.”
Evansville athletic director John Stanley denied a report, by the Peoria Journal Star, that his school was considering leaving the MVC for the Horizon League. Stanley told the Evansville Courier-Press that MVC administrators would discuss Creighton’s situation and that a departure by Evansville is not on the table.
Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson reacted strongly when asked about possible departures from the MVC.
"It’s a basketball conference," he said in a news release from SIU. "There will be people lining up to get in our conference. That’s how good it is. And I don’t think anybody’s leaving our conference, because they know how damn good it is.”
The MVC membership of 10 schools has not changed since Tulsa left in 1996. Creighton is in its 55th year of MVC membership. It joined the conference in 1928 and departed in the late 1940s. It rejoined the conference in 1976. Drake, Wichita State and Bradley are the only MVC members with a longer tenure.