Monday, November 26, 2012

Goodbye WAC: DU To Join Summit League


For those of you keeping score at home, the Summit League consists of: North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Fort Wayne, South Dakota, Western Illinois, Kansas City, IUPUI, Oakland [Detroit] & Nebraska-Omaha.

DU will compete in the Summit League in Basketball [M&W], Golf [M&W], Soccer [M&W], Swimming/Diving [M&W], Tennis [M&W] & Volleyball [W].

DU's Skiing [M&W] team competes in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association, Ice Hockey [M] will compete in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference beginning next season, Lacrosse [M] competes in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, Gymnastics [W] is independent, while Lacrosse [W] competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

81 comments:

dggoddard said...

Heard a rumor about this over the weekend, although the conference was a mystery. The second half of the rumor was that DU might have to add a sport or two to receive the offer.

Turns out that is not the case, DU will not need to add any sports. Sources at DU have confirmed this.

I've never been a fan of the WCC as a fit for DU. Getting in bed with a group of broke azz California schools....just ask CU how the Pac-12 is working out for them.

The advantage of the Summit League is the major cities/easy flights involved: Detroit, Kansas City, Indy & Omaha. Should help DU's recruiting footprint in hoops especially.

Now if the Summit League can add North Dakota, Northern Colorado & Houston Baptist it could be an attractive long term home for DU.

Anonymous said...

What an utter disappointment. From a basketball point of view the Summit is a definite step down from both the WAC and the Sun Belt. The conference has only won one men's basketball NCAA tournament game since 1998. DU may have a better chance of making the tournament but I can't imagine the average Colorado basketball fan driving to Magness and paying to watch these obscure teams. What they gain in hoops recruiting in the midwest they will definitely lose in Texas/California. Instead of a Vegas conference tournament they will head to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. DU will also be the only private school in a conference of public schools. Can only hope this is not the last stop in this saga.

old pio said...

Hollywood mogul Louis B. Mayer, in another context, pretty much summed my reacton: "Include me out."

dggoddard said...

Its time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and begin pulling up our bootstraps and build our D1 sports program to an elite level.

Without football we have no hand.

So with that in mind, DU should look to add schools that will become rivals. Women's soccer, women's golf, skiing, lacrosse & hockey have proven in recent years that we can compete at the highest levels. Hire & retain the best coaches and go from there.

Tim said...

Sounds like it could be a good, stable move. Definitely an interesting mix of schools. Hopefully we can start becoming a regular in the NCAA Tournament.

Anonymous said...

DU has no choice right now. None.

The WAC is unstable.

FargoBison said...

The Summit will be a good fit for DU. Sioux Falls puts on a great basketball tournament and there are some solid schools in the league with good fan support. I do agree with another person who said that adding UND and UNC would make the league great long term.

Twister said...

Maybe I'm being a simpleton here, but isn't it safe to assume that until men's hoops starts making some noise nationally, DU will be stuck in these more obscure conferences? We know DU is a national player in hockey, skiing, lacrosse, and now women's soccer, but without a football team, DU must be relevant in hoops. I just don't see any upward movement in terms of conference realignment until that happens. College basketball can be a major cash cow and bring tons of exposure to a school, with so many games now on TV.

But again, I could be completely off.

dggoddard said...

Basketball can be a "cash cow" but even Duke, Georgetown & Kansas are in a precarious situation without powerful football programs to back them up.

In real estate its about location, in college sports its about football.

Anonymous said...

Twister:

DU is without football and is not in a great locations in terms of conference options. Being good in basketball will help, as I don't think DU wants to be in the Summite either, but they simply can't stay in a crumbling WAC, either.

Best to bit the bullet and hope for better options.

Anonymous said...

DU will be the big dog in the Summitt.

Our annual sports budget is about $25 million and the next closest Summitt member is $15 million.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the Summit League. I thought Oakland might be a name school. And then I see it's a parenthetical school (in Detroit)! Plus, IUPIU--what the H is that??? Every time I think we can't sink any lower with our conference affiliation, I am wrong. Honestly, I don't care much--the DU sports that I watch the most aren't impacted. But I do hope for the sake of basketball and soccer that DU finds a better home someday. Clearly, we are desperate for a conference right now. You almost have to laugh about it. It will be interesting to hear Peg pretend to wax enthusiastically about joining this conference.

Anonymous said...

Out of the frying pan, into the fire, and now out of the fire but onto the back burner...

Anonymous said...

DU has NO CHOICE.

The WAC is going to die.

Better to get out now.

Anonymous said...

Wow this makes us look pathetic. If we dont absolutely destroy the Summit every single year then we dont deserve a better one.

Anonymous said...

Pull Seattle in and maybe give a tug to UND and maybe it wouldn't completely, totally, entirely suck.

Anonymous said...

Houston Baptist is joining the Southland Conference next year.

Northern Colorado and UND would never join unless they had a home for football. The Summit does not offer football, and the MVFC (where NDSU, USD, SDSU, and W Illinois play) has no intention of moving beyond 10 schools

Also, DU's athletic budget may be $25 million, but how much of that is actually paid out? Many private schools actually use tuition waivers and count them as full costs in accounting for the athletic program, but only room and board and books are actually paid by endowments and other sources. Public schools often can't do that: their expenses are all real.

Steve said...

I am a DU fan but I think this proves DU can't succeed the way it wants to in DI. We can barely fill a small arena for basketball because our alumni base is so spread out and most students are apathetic, its no wonder any conference that's worth a damn doesn't want us. Not sure what to do but returning to DII except in Hockey/Lax/Ski might be an option. At least it allow more money to go to developing the school's stagnant academic prestige.

Anonymous said...

I hope we are able to get Seattle to join, too. They are the school most like DU (small, private, no football, etc.) and seem to be in a similar situation - waiting until the WCC opens its doors. I still think the WCC would be the best final outcome for DU, but it may not happen until BYU makes a move (MW again?: http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8653727/boise-state-broncos-sdsu-aztecs-byu-cougars-talk-mwc-return-sources-say).

It might actually be fun to have regular games against UNO (and potentially UND) in sports outside of hockey in the meantime.

ALUUUM said...

SUMMIT? SUMMIT OF WHAT?

Anonymous said...


Maybe DU's presence in the Summit League would encourage Oakland and UMKC to start hockey. Together with Omaha, that would be four hockey schools. Also, flying between Detroit (Oakland) or IUPUI to Denver is actually cheaper than flying to Sioux Falls or Fargo, so the travel costs really aren't that much higher for Oakland, IPFW, or IUPUI.

That said, any of Oakland, IPFW, or IUPUI would instantly join the Horizon League if offered.

Three schools in the Summit have med schools: IUPUI, UMKC, and USD (maybe Oakland has one too now). W Illinois and IPFW are regional universities in the true sense.

Anonymous said...


North Dakota is not in the Summit League but in the Big Sky. NDSU is the school in the Summit.

I know a lot of DU fans often kid UND fans about being a bunch of hicks and hillbillies. You aint seen nothing yet!! Wait til you meet the fans from NDSU and SDSU. NDSU fans think we (UND fans) are too high society, wearing turtle necks and tweed and driving European cars. Welcome to the good ole boy league of pickup trucks, huge belt buckles, and cheap six packs.

Also, check out NDSU's basketball venue in person sometime: make sure you wear your parka or be able to strip down to shorts. That drafty place is either 120 F or 40 F depending on the weather. The visiting basketball teams often needs to wear fur-lined underarmour gear just to survive that place without getting hypothermia with their normal basketball gear.

Also, don't talk about hockey to any of the other Dakota school fans. They all claim that they absolutely despise it, especially NDSU, and that winning a national championship in a niche sport like hockey isn't worth a pot to sh*t in. NDSU used to talk about adding hockey, but they have given up on that after the Ralph was built at UND.

Have fun in the Summit!! Honestly though, wish you could have gained Big Sky admission, but that league is rather stringent that schools must have football.

Siouxfan

Anonymous said...


Highly doubt Seattle will get any looks from the Summit, unless the Summit loses the Indiana and Michigan teams. Some of the other schools that have been suggested as new members would be DII moveups: UM-St Louis, Southern Indiana, and Bellarmine. Bellarmine actually plays lacrosse (think DU is in the same league with them). Chicago State has been begging to move back to the Summit, but with their <10% graduation rate, numerous athletic scandals, and poor academics, the Summit League members bit the bullet and decided they would rather emphasize academics.

Anonymous said...

Oakland is in Oakland County, a relatively affluent county north of Detroit. It used to be a branch of Michigan State. That school is very aggressive in their basketball scheduling and has some decent support.

Anonymous said...


If DU gains a couple of NCAA bids in basketball, then the Missouri Valley becomes interested. That's almost certainly Peggy's end game, not the Summit. The Summit is a feeder league to both the Horizon (eastern Midwest) and the MVC (western Midwest and plains). DU basketball has to prove itself to get on an MVC short list.

Anonymous said...

feeling like this is quite the step down. don't get me wrong, this is better than no league at all (WAC in the not too distant future), but this better not be more than a temporary home. it seems like we need to add baseball and cross country (and maybe softball) in order to get a WCC invite

Anonymous said...

Lots of good insight at: http://milehighmids.tumblr.com/

dggoddard said...

All Division I schools must field at least 14 sports, so unless DU wants to drop hockey, lacrosse & skiing going D-II or D-III is not an option. Schools like Colorado College got a long ago expired "waiver" to play up in D-1 in hockey & women's soccer [Title IX].

DU can make the Summit League work as long as they have the best coaches and recruit the best players. As DU gets stronger in these sports, instead of joining a new conference, schedule and then beat name-brand nonconference opponents. This is what Gonzaga & Butler have done. The conference is irrelevant.

As the only school in the Summit League with legalized marijuana we already have a huge recruiting advantage on our new conference-mates. :-)

Anonymous said...

NDSU trumps the pu$$ies from und in every single way. They are racist pricks, NDSU are national FOOTBALL champs, been to NCAA basketball tourney, beat ranked teams. Don't ever confuse the 2 school. 1 wins titles in a big town The other lick balls and gives each other hand jobs.

PS-We will bring thousands of fans to Denver games.

Anonymous said...

Folks, DU has no choice in any conference move.

The Sun Belt was the only D-I conference that offered us a spot when we went back to all D-I in the late 90s. It was never the right fit for us.

The WAC we joined in 2010 was a far better option than the Belt, but no one could have predicted how quickly that would implode due to football realignment. With the WAC crumbling and dying, DU HAD TO GET OUT or risk becoming independent, which would kill scheduling and recruiting.

The Summit is not ideal, but it's more stable than the WAC right now. Of course, DU wants in the WCC, MWC, MVC, or Big West but those places don't want us or we'd be there by now.

Bottom line : WE HAVE NO CHOICE RIGHT NOW. It sucks, but until we become a seriously consistent basketball program, we will be relegated to crappy conference options.



Anonymous said...

Titles? UND has 7 DI titles. Big town? I don't like defending UND, but good god. NDSU might even be worse than UND. wow. Just wow.

Anonymous said...

Had heard that NDSU fans were jerks, but this guy has to take the cake. Discredits DU's titles as much as UND's. Like DU cares about D2 football. Probably 10 or 20 NDSU fans will show up for basketball in Magness.


"NDSU trumps the pu$$ies from und in every single way. They are racist pricks, NDSU are national FOOTBALL champs, been to NCAA basketball tourney, beat ranked teams. Don't ever confuse the 2 school. 1 wins titles in a big town The other lick balls and gives each other hand jobs.

PS-We will bring thousands of fans to Denver games."

97Pio said...

"We will bring thousands of fans to Denver games"

I can assure you we wont return the favor. No one here gives a F$#% about NDSU or any of the Summit. Hell there were literally maybe 10 students at the CSU game. It was embarrassing.

How can DU possibly ever get to the level of like a Gonzaga, Creighton or jeez even So Miss or CSU? Any top recruit will see a half-empty arena (even in a good season) and then see a worse program that can somewhat fill an arena with good energy and the choice is made. We have to bank on players like Udofia who are under the radar and develop while they are here. Good luck getting five of those guys consistantly.

Anonymous said...

Well SDSU destroyed Washington last year on the road and gave Baylor all they could handle in the NCAA tournament. The basketball in this league is decent and the Summit is in some decent recruiting areas for DU to recruit(IL, IN, MN, MI, MO).

You guys have a great school and city to sell. A number of schools have built themselves up in the Summit.

Anonymous said...

97 Pio. DU averaged 5,000 hoops fans per game last year and has similar numbers this year. Can't use the CSU game for comparison because Denver is on winter break and 70% of undergrads are not from Colorado. CSU didn't have very many students there either - most of the fans were CSU alumni who live in Denver.

I think DU will be pretty good this year in the WAC.

97 Pio said...

There were more CSU fans than DU fans, student or not. Regardless, the attendance number is inflated by their free ticketing program to various youth groups. The only time I ever saw a real presence last year from the student section was at the Middle Tennessee game. It is hard for a team to create their own energy night after night and is partially why they cant hit the next level. Lets be real, most would rather play for a team that can get people energized for the games.
Aside from the CC game, Hockey has a weird student section dynamic as well.

It amazes me how apathetic most of the student body is to the sports.

dggoddard said...

Student support at the hockey & lacrosse games has grown exponentially over the past five years. Tremendous strides in school spirit have been made in recent years.

While our student support has grown in hockey & lacrosse, schools like Duke have seen their student support in basketball decline steadily over the past six years, so in that regard, we're bucking a national trend.

http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/low-attendance-forces-duke-athletics-sell-student-seats

Everyone said the Sunbelt was a terrible fit for DU, lo and behold ESPN shows up for the Middle Tennessee game, and the students show up in droves.

Student support, alumni support, building basketball tradition, getting games on TV, finding an audience for each of our non-revenue sports and building rivalries takes decades. DU has been full D-1 since 1999, so we're late to the party.

The Directors Cups prove that DU is winning on the playing fields, the recruiting in all sports is stronger than ever & DU's coaching staffs are world-class. The school just need some stability, that hopefully is what the Summit League will provide.

timt89 said...

This is an unmitigated disaster. I doubt that we will be able to keep Joe Scott with the Summit League. The schools are lousy, there is no geographic fit, no natural rivalries, poor academic alignment and very little to drive a top recruit to DU. While we have tried to elevate DU's basketball, this league is not even on a par with the Sun Belt. It is clear that no other conference would take us so we are stuck with a second-tier directional school conference. It is going to be very difficult to draw crowds and enthusiasm when we play South Dakota State, UMKC, and Oakland.

We should have gone independent and played a top schedule or gone back to the Sun Belt. This is a very dark day for Pioneer basketball and a gigantic step backwards. I am so disappointed and I feel badly for the athletes who have come to DU with the expectation that this is a program on the rise. No one can say this is a good thing for DU basketball. It also looks like no regional conferences were willing to waive the football requirement and the WCC pushed us away. For all the progress Peg has made, this is a huge mistake…even if it is a 1-3 year landing pad until better options emerge.

I remember Joe Scott after a game at North Dakota State several years ago where we got jobbed by the officials saying that he would never go back there again. He thought the place was a dump and he was glad to take them off the schedule. Well, here we go again!

Anonymous said...

Now that the initial shock has worn off I have to give full credit to Peg and DU for making a necessary move to protect DU from the WACs implosion. The question is not whether the Summit is the best long term conference for DU but whether it is the best current conference option and as many have pointed out above it likely is. Joe Scott and his players above all want to get to the NCAA tourney and this move increases their chances of that in a way that going independent or staying in a 4-5 team WAC could not. If nothing else a new conference of fans and potential recruits will get to know DU and that is a good thing. Valpo, Oral Roberts and others have used Summit as springboard and DU can too with further improvement in MBB.

dggoddard said...

Joe Scott has signed an extension and is [I believe] the highest paid coach at DU. I'm sure that part of the thinking in giving him the extension was to get through the conference transition.

This move makes sense on a lot of levels. Its a better fit for DU than the WCC, WAC & from the cost/distance point of view the Sunbelt.

The Summit League is short one baseball team to get an autobid, but if DU didn't have to add baseball/softball that might save $5 million.

Anonymous said...

tim89:

You are a good poster and a good guy, but I think you are being too harsh in this situation.

1) You can't recruit good players as an independent/no auto bid. Kids want to play in the NCAA tourney. Recruiting would take a big dive as an Indy, and keep us out of the tourney for years.

2) You also can't schedule without a league, as attractive teams won't come to your place often enough. You would end up playing 70- 80% of your games on the road and that is untenable in college basketball.

3) Peg had no choice here and I don't think you can't fault her for making a mistake, as there is really no feasible alternative. Besides being a bad geographic/academic fit that she inherited in the SBC, DU would have been eventually kicked out of the Sun Belt for not sponsoring enough league sports. The WAC move was her best non-Sun Belt option in 2010 when other confrences didn't want us. Now, that the WAC is imploding, her only out is the Summit. Peg is trying to play a very bad hand without football and in a regional area without a lot of D-I competition.

4. DU's hoops program needs an NCAA appearance to build momentum and they can hopefully get that in the Summit - they are the best funded program in that league. Basketball in Denver is a tough sell no matter who you play. Even if DU did get to the WCC someday, Denver fans would not be streaming in to see Loyola-Marymount or Pepperdine any more than South Dakota or UMKC. Duke isn't coming here, so we need to win and make NCAA tourneys so fans will come out to see us and not our opponents.

Summing up, DU is a very successful small fry in the world of the big boys, and we need to be a consistent NCAA tourney threat in men's hoops in order to have any conference leverage. We aren't quite there yet, but we've only been full d-I since 1999. Give it time.

dggoddard said...

The AD can't just change conferences on a whim.

Her staff to do the due diligence. The faculty reps, Chancellor & administration have to approve. Finally the Board of Trustees have to sign off on the move.

At that point they probably inform key athletic department donors. So if mistakes are made its on all of them.

Anonymous said...

97 Pio - This is not Norman, Madison or Durham. All Colorado student bodies, including DU, are somewhat less specatator sport-driven than in other places. Nobody sells out here in any college sport. We have a lot of other things to compete for our attentiom here.

timt89 said...

Top 10 reasons to join the Summit conference
10. Girlfriend is a zone manager for Con Agra
9. Great seating at Magnass!
8. Makes Omaha look like NYC
7. Chance to play Oakland without taking a shive
6. Joe Scotts club tie INTIMIDATES
5. Visit Fargo wood chipper tourist site
4. Three trips to South Dakota a year lands one free ticket on Midwest Express
3. Unique opportunity to both play and eat local fare - Bison, Jackrabbits, Coyotes, and Grizzlies
2. Avoid WAC Devils Triangle - Grand Canyon University, Cal State Bakersfield & Utah Valley
1. If you're Gwoz- contract leverage, leverage, leverage

Anonymous said...

The Summit League has changed its name and its membership numerous times. With the inclusion of 5 universities on the 1-29 corridor ranging from Fargo (NSDU) to Kansas City, the league's footprint has moved west. Adding Denver strengthens that westward expansion. The Summit used to be a stepping stone for practically any member, hoping to move up. For members such as NSDU, USD, SDSU, and perhaps some others, there is no other conference into which they fit geographically. For these universities, the Summit will be the long-term home. Because of that, anticipate more of an effort by the Summit members to elevate the entire league. If you look at the RPI of mens' basketball for the last few seasons you will see this happening. Of course, the loss of Oral Roberts Univ. has to be considered a setback. Can Denver be the counter to that setback?

The Summit will continue to be a mixture of rural and urban universities. Just wait until you play at SDSU sometime if it happens to be the game where they auction a pig at halftime, or hand out free lamb sandwiches to fans as they enter the arena. Don't laugh. It happens! Just accept that this is a diverse nation and the Summit is currently a diverse league. If you hang around it it long enough, you might enjoy it and your programs might thrive in it.

By the way. Women's basketball is also a very important sport to several teams in the Summit. How does DU measure up there? I will look forward to the competition. I live about halfway between my home campus of South Dakota State and the city of Denver. Maybe I will be a visiting fan sometime.

Chicago Alumni said...

Amazing news for the 3,000 alumni in Chicago - it's an easy drive to Madison for Hockey, and now we'll have even more caravan style events to IUPUI, Oakland-Detroit, and Fort Wayne. I just hope that hockey schedules a date with Mich or Mich State the same weekend as a bball game so we can make it a double header.

dggoddard said...

Gallows humor from Tim. Its the first step in our recovery. :-)

Looking at the map on the Mile High Mids Blog you can see that DU has the potential to send teams on buses instead of planes to perhaps four schools [KC, UNO, two South Dakotas].

Going to save the Athletic Department a ton of cash.

Anonymous said...

DU will not be bussing to Omaha, KC or the the Dakotas unless the coaches want that for team bonding. Those are all short flights and players will be fresher without spending all day on a bus.

Anonymous said...

DU's Chicago Alums are also close to Western Illinois University, who is part of the Summit.

dggoddard said...

What better way to kick off the new league than officially bring back a popular former mascot?

Increased merchandise sales would help fund transition.

Just sayin'.....

Anonymous said...

The Mile High Mids article is excellent. I'm feeling slightly better about this now. Hopefully DU will make the best of the situation. I'm sure that winning this conference in hoops, and being able to schedule some good non-conference basketball games at Magness will be a priority. I have no idea how this will shake out for soccer, though. Is the men's soccer team still in the Mountain Pacific (?) conference (with New Mexico, Air Force, etc)?

Anonymous said...

DU soccer is in the Mountain Pacific soccer conference, but since rival New Mexico is leaving that conference next year anyway, I don't think DU will miss it much.

DU will join the Summit for men's soccer. Could be an easier road to an NCAA berth. Can still play AFA and maybe UNM non-league every year.

dggoddard said...

How badly did DU want out of the WAC?

According to posters over at the WAC Message Board, DU paid $800,000 to join the WAC.

No wonder Gwozdecky & Tierney contract renewals have been on the back burner.

Ouch.

Anonymous said...

If DU did pay an entrance fee to the WAC, they would have paid it back in 2010 when they accepted the invite.

Anonymous said...

Just finished the presser. Peg basically said this is the most stable option for DU "at this time" whcih I take as code for "we're still open for offerts".

She also said, like the SBC, there is no exit fee from the WAC.

old pio said...

Time to mention the "F" word: football. I seem to recall we used to have a team and a stadium. And most or all of the factors involved in dropping the sport still obtain. On the other hand, football is the sine qua non of college athletics. Maybe it's time to at least consider it. The startup costs would be staggering. A stadium would merely be the biggest item on the list. Lots of infrastructure involved. And we still have three government sponsored schools in close proximity. Still, it wouldn't hurt to look into it. Maybe we could find an angel (or several angels)to underwrite startup. For sure, a football program would give us many more attractive options. Think of the anticipation of playing IUPUIPUPI for homecoming.

timt89 said...

"Just as a university is responsible for providing its student-athletes with solid instruction and guidance both in the classroom and on the field of play, a robust conference values educational excellence as well as athletic achievement," said University of Denver Chancellor Robert Coombe. "Considering its strong academic focus along with the competitive success of its member institutions' sports programs, we could not be more pleased than to find a permanent home in The Summit League."

Kidding, right???? Loosen the bow tie, it is cutting off your circulation!

Rich said...

Here's the deal, DU folks:

You'll fit right in with the Summit, as there are no shortage of fans of other Summit schools that feel that the Summit is beneath them.

I, for one, think you should embrace the reality you have. Denver isn't remotely attractive to the Valley in its current configuration (a bus league with its center in Illinois), or the WCC. If conference affiliation changes to such an extent that the Valley comes looking for Denver (or SDSU, my alma mater, etc.), well, it won't be nearly as attractive. Kind of like the WAC circa 2010.

Is the Summit the land of misfit toys? Yes. But cripes. Look at your athletic program. Denver sponsors lacrosse, skiing, hockey and gymnastics. You're going to be an oddball school no matter where you end up. Just like SDSU, NDSU, USD, etc. (flagship schools with small enrollments).

So embrace the misfit nature of the Summit and realize that it reflects the misfit nature of your athletic program (seriously, skiing, but not football?), and your location (in Denver, but not exactly pulling down the sports section headlines).

Rich said...

And, for what it's worth, I don't consider 'misfit' an insult in this environment.

Shoot. Look at the corruption at North Carolina, etc. If that's the standard, then by all means, be a misfit.

Anonymous said...

Rich:

You are absolutely right.

Denver carries a serious snob factor in our fan base - in large measure because the school has done so well in the last 15 years or so in terms of the huge hundreds of millions investment in the campus, rising into the top 85in country academically and the athletic dept. also has been very successful in multiple sports.

Yet we conference affiliation has been much more difficult than anyone expected it to be.

Anonymous said...


The Summit doesn't offer football, so why would DU have an interest in football? If the Big Sky is the goal as a terminal conference, then yes. But one of the MVC and WCC or even the Big West is the goal, and none of them have football.

Ryan S said...

Wouldn't it be better for the school as an academic institution to cut the athletic budget, even if that means going back to D2, to invest the money elsewhere?

Obviously spending $25 mil a year has done nothing but land the school in association with weak academic and athletic reject schools. One year of that budget could go far towards a medical school or whathaveyou.

Anonymous said...


SDSU actually auctions off pigs at halftime of basketball games? Is Arnold Zipfel there? Maybe this Summit should be renamed the Green Acres conference?

Anonymous said...

DU could start a football team next year.......we sure as hell could beat CU.

Anonymous said...

And other Summit schools are serious about academics and athletics. NDSU is among the highest tier for research universities and the school was in the top 100 of the Director's Cup last year...basically right next to Denver on the list.

Anonymous said...

Football is a $100 million undertaking even without building a stadium. DU would need a big donor (s) to make that happen, and right now, the big donors are way more interested in a medical school for DU than starting football.

Football would likely not work at DU. The bigger public Universities here still struggle with it, the recruiting base here is poor and DU is more tolerated in the community than beloved by those who are not affiliated.

Anonymous said...

DU is the most successfull D-I school without football in the country. Spirit and identity are on the rise.

Why would cut the budget and go back to D-II?

We are only 15 years into this, and DU's athletics are already model for how to do things right.

Conference affiliation will come someday.

Brett said...

A lot of people mention that we need to become consistently good in basketball to help facilitate the jump to MVC, WCC, Big Sky etc.

I agree, but how are we supposed to improve recruiting if we're now playing IUPIUPIPUII and the state Dakota schools? What recruit is going to be excited by that?

We can't improve attendance if we're playing teams even more obscure than the Sun Belt and current WAC contingent.

So, if we can't recruit like we have been recently, can't draw student/alumni support for league home games better than when we were in SB or WAC (which was paltry at best), how is our basketball program going to improve and help us jump out of this dumpy conference?

Basically, I feel like joining the Summit has damaged the only program capable of helping us join the type of conference we all expect and want.

I’m still going to buy basketball season tickets next year like I have this year, and I get that this was the ONLY move available to us, but boy are those home games going to be bad next year………

Rich said...

"SDSU actually auctions off pigs at halftime of basketball games?"

Yes. This is an ag state, that is an ag school. Should the state and university be ashamed that growing *food* is an important part of the local economy?

You can either apologize for it, or you can embrace it. SDSU has done the latter.

Anonymous said...

I for one think auctioning off a pig at half time is awesome. Sounds like a great road trip. Places that like are often times a hell of a lot more fun than big cities.

Rich said...

"What recruit is going to be excited by that?"

Here's a bit of perspective:

The Summit is taking a step backward by replacing Oral Roberts with Denver.

Anonymous said...

Rich: you fail to answer the question with your non-sequitur. The question stands: what "recruit is going to be excited by that?" Seems that you'd rather answer the unrelated question of whether Denver helps the Summit. Keep your focus, my friend. You were doing well up until now.

Pigs at halftime--that is worth a road trip for sure.

Anonymous said...

Unless you are in the ACC, SEC, Pac 12, Big 12, B1G, etc are recruits really excited about the conference? I think at this level your school, coach and level of support the program gets are all more important.

The Summit has had very talented players come through the league so coaches must be capable of bringing in solid recruits. Heck the league almost sent two teams to the dance last year being ORU was one of the last four out of the field.

The Summit is in recruiting areas that DU could tap into.

Rich said...

"Seems that you'd rather answer the unrelated question of whether Denver helps the Summit"

I don't see the questions as unrelated. 'Ask not what your conference can do for your university, ask what your university can do for your conference!'

Basically, the Summit isn't bringing much to the table for Denver's recruits, but Denver isn't bringing much to the table for recruits at other Summit League schools.

Also, there's no shortage of mid-major talent in the upper midwest. Creighton and UNI haven't had to go far afield to build solid programs: http://www.gocreighton.com/SportSelect.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=1000&SPID=69&SPSID=89384 Doug McDermott is from Ames, Iowa, Nate Wolters is from St. Cloud Minnesota.

You can find no end of tall guards & wing players in the upper midwest, even if you'll struggle to find legit fours and fives.

Rich said...

Pigs at halftime:

http://terryvandrovec.tumblr.com/post/17148442657/leftover-pork

Looks like they updated to a full-on trailer last season.....

Anonymous said...

Rich talking about pigs, anon talking in Latin, this argument is upidstay ;-)

Anonymous said...

This move could stoke some budding rivaly fires between UNO and DU from hockey into other sports.

I would love to see North Dakota join the Summit, too.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know why Denver fans would he disappointed by this. Having a basketball them that was above average in the sun belt isn't going to get any big conference's attention.

Be happy someone would take you.

Anonymous said...

Yeah...basketball "thems" are all the rage, prolly bigger than Bieber Fever....on da shniz tip, yo...

Brendan Loy said...

Great discussion here!

I've just published a new post over at Mile High Mids. I unfortunately don't have time to do a full write-up, but have a listen to my audio interview with Bradley-Doppes. It contains some nuggets that you all will find interesting, I think.

Anonymous said...

Brendan:

Good interview with Peg.

I think you can hear the relief in her voice, and reading between the lines, this move was likely the ONLY viable option DU had. If there were serious offers from serious confrences (WCC, MWC, MVC, Big West, Big Sky) we'd be there by now. The only other options were to 1) stay with a decomposing WAC with for profit schools like Grand Canyon. DU's board of trustees was having nonoe of that, I can assure you. 2) Jump to the Summit. Or 3), go indy or some other horrible arrangement with the Great West or other non-AQ options - not tenable. DU did waht it had to do.