O’Dell informs coaches


Yesterday Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell held a meeting with the head coaches of NIU’s athletic teams to inform them on the options he is considering regarding the possibility of NIU leaving the Mid-Continent Conference.

O’Dell discussed very few specifics, but did let the coaches in on the fact that he has been in contact with the MCC conference and a few teams presently in the Mid-Con who have considered leaving.

One major problem with joining the MCC would be this: NIU would no longer receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in a number of sports, including basketball.

Outside of this glaring problem, there are a number of schools in the Mid-Con who are unhappy with the lack of commitment to athletic excellence exhibited by some members of the conference.

“Some of the schools not committed to improving their programs end up voting down measures on the table that are for the good of the conference more often than not,” said head softball coach Dee Abrahamson.

These less dedicated schools handling of their athletic programs translate into fielding losing teams that get blown out much of the time which makes for boring games.

To try and improve NIU’s athletic programs, O’Dell is exploring the idea of positioning NIU with a mix of schools that have expressed similar interests and goals.

“You can only have a good rivalry if the two teams involved are close to the same skill level. Some of the schools in our conference are weak and some of the schools in the MCC have strong programs, which would make for a more exciting game for the fans,” said head volleyball coach Pete Waite.

Loyola of Chicago, which is one of five teams presently in the MCC, has been invited to join the Mid-Con. It is likely they will join because Xavier and La Salle other MCC teams are rumored to be leaving for the Atlantic 10.