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EMU athletics in the blogosphere today

May 9, 2011

There are a couple of interesting discussions relating to EMU athletics hitting the blogosphere today.

First, Hustle Belt’s “MACwood Squares” summer series highlighting the best nine athletes of all time from each school shifts to EMU today, starting strong with pitcher Bob Welch.

Also, since their women’s basketball and their baseball teams couldn’t handle the Eagles this spring, our neighbors to the west at MGoBlog are asking why EMU even bothers to field Division I teams. Like most such discussions, it’s heavily colored by EMU’s recent football and men’s basketball futility, and ignores a rich history, as well as continued success in other sports — see the aforementioned baseball and women’s basketball teams!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2011 9:37 am

    I think I posted the question on here a couple times. But you reminded me that there is more than just football and basketball. Although, I still have the question of why we couldn’t bump football and basketball down to 1AA but then you said that we would lose our MAC affiliation. I wouldn’t want to see that as that would mean we probab wouldn’t play Western or Central anymore.

    The article did raise some valid points though. And as more of the bigger conferences get exclusive TV deals (The Big Ten Network, the SEC Network, now the PAC 12 and I would imagine the Big 12 isn’t far behind) and have more guaranteed revenue streams, it will be tougher for the lower tier conferences to compete. Heck, it might be harder for the lower tier teams in those conferences to compete (since I follow the Big Ten, I’m thinking teams like Indiana and Illinois). So I don’t know.

    • May 10, 2011 10:18 am

      Yes, the MAC defines itself primarily as a football conference, and although there are a few single-sport members, EMU probably wouldn’t be able to drop to FCS in football (Division I isn’t split for basketball) and stay in the MAC in all other sports. Plus, going to the FCS would yield some savings in scholarships and coaching pay, but would probably increase travel costs; the most likely conference for EMU at that level is the Missouri Valley Conference (plus Missouri Valley Football Conference), necessitating regular trips to the Dakotas, probably by airplane (because that’s a looooong way to ride a bus).

      If EMU does drop athletics to a lower level, a much more likely landing place is the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, in Division II. GLIAC members include Ferris State, Grand Valley State, Northwood University (Midland, MI), Saginaw Valley State, Hillsdale College, and Wayne State. Nine members are in Michigan with the other five in Ohio. The most distant are Lewis University (swimming and diving only, near Chicago), Lake Erie College (NE Ohio), and Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech at western end of the UP.

  2. Kenneth Barna permalink
    May 10, 2011 11:03 am

    Dear Friends,
    The real reason for all the EMU bashing, is those people from Ann Arbor are truly afraid of the fact that their programs, (football and basketball) are also falling on hard times. With the possibility that in the near future they will have less to crow about , if their continued woes grow, so, bash Eastern.
    They are truly afraid of the competition that Eastern may give them. Eastern has only been Division I in intercollegiate sports since it joined the MAC in 1972? (not sure of date) That means forty years.
    Michigan on the other hand for a century. Give Eastern another sixty years and then evaluate the programs.

  3. May 10, 2011 11:27 am

    I’m guessing in the not football and basketball sports, EMU would probably own Division II championships but they would probably still struggle with football and basketball. So going down to Divison II doesn’t solve the fundamental problem being addressed. I don’t know if things are still the same now as when I went there, but when I was going, it was basically a suitcase college. People would stay in the dorms during the week and go home during the weekends. That makes it tough to get a fanbase for football games.

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