SBD/Issue 168/Collegiate Sports

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  • ECU AD Believes C-USA Expansion Could Bring Financial Stability

    Eastern Carolina Univ. AD Terry Holland believes that Conference USA should expand "from 12 to 16 or 18 teams" in order to "create more financial stability and rivalries" in the league, according to Jack Bogaczyk of the CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL. Since first mentioning the idea at the C-USA winter meetings in January '07, Holland "has been quietly pushing his expansion concept." But he said that there has been no formal discussion since then, and "there was relatively little interest when he brought it up." But Bogaczyk noted C-USA "isn't doing as well as it might" financially, as the Univ. of Memphis has been the conference's sole entry in the NCAA men's basketball tournament the last two seasons. Holland: "Given two 'one bid' seasons in hoops, I am in favor of rocking the boat right now before we get in a hole too deeply." Holland added, "I have come to the conclusion that 12-team conferences do not work well for long term." Holland's plan calls for two divisions within the conference, and he said that the expanded league "balances the competition." Holland said under the current system, C-USA, "with its geographic spread, cannot possibly develop rivalries." Holland said he would "expand each division and let each division function as a 7-, 8- or 9-team conference." However, if the expansion concept is "ever to take flight, C-USA presidents and ADs will need some convincing." Holland: "They say there is no one [school] out there who brings enough value to split the revenue with more schools" (CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL, 5/19).

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