NIU’s hopes for MVC may be denied


Well, it would appear that NIU will remain in the Mid-Continent Conference after all.

According to Star sources, the presidents of Missouri Valley Conference voted to extend an invitation to the University of Evansville while voting down NIU’s bid.

That announcement should be made official within the week. MVC officials, as well as Evansville, refused to comment on the unofficial decision.

NIU Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell was unavailable for comment.

Evansville, located in Evansville, Ind., is a private school with an enrollment of a little over 2,900 students.

However, the university has a good tradition in athletics.

They have an excellent soccer program, above average baseball team and have always been strong in basketball.

The MVC is one of the best baseball conferences in the country, with teams like Wichita State and Tulsa, two teams that are traditionally in the Final Four of the College World Series, dominating the field.

Also, the Mid-Continent is no where near the competition level that MVC has managed to attain. Only in softball and golf could the Mid-Con compare with the Missouri Valley.

According to NIU coaches, volleyball, baseball, men’s soccer and both men’s and women’s basketball all had a higher level of skill in the MVC. A fact that could help a school gain some measure of national attention, not to mention attracting top recruits.

Plus, the MVC has automatic bids for division winners to the NCAA tournaments that the Mid-Con does: volleyball, men and women basketball.

However, the MVC can also boast bids in baseball, softball and men’s soccer, where the Mid-Con does not.

Just when an official statment concerning the issue will be made is uncertain, but a spokesperson for the MVC told the Star the MVC presidents have voted but the decision will not be made public until later this week.