PantherU

Oakland to be first of hopefully more

According to an administration executive at a Horizon League university, the conference’s impending addition of a new school will be the first of hopefully “several new members,” the source told PantherU.com in an e-mail.

The source would not confirm or deny whether or not the ninth Horizon League school would be Oakland, only to say that “There will be an announcement soon on a new member.” PantherU confirmed through four sources yesterday that Oakland would be the first new member, but none of them knew about anything beyond Oakland.

When asked whether Oakland would be the only school joining the Horizon League for the 2013-14 season, the source said, “That…will depend on how quickly the other schools can get board approval and leave their prospective conferences.” It sure looks like other schools are in serious discussions to join the Horizon League.

For basketball, the addition of Oakland is an obvious improvement over Loyola. In one of their worst seasons in almost a decade, Oakland finished 152 in the RPI. Loyola, in one of their best since the graduation of Blake Schilb in 2005-06, finished 222 in the RPI.

A move to ten teams this season would bring the conference to the same membership it enjoyed from 2007-08, when Valparaiso joined the conference, to 2011-12, Butler’s final season.

Many fall sports would be affected greatly in scheduling by a move to 12 teams. One fall coach said, “If we bring in three more teams in addition to Oakland, I’m going to have to call up some non-conference opponents and cancel, which I really don’t want to do.”

This news should be music to the ears of Horizon League fans who wanted to see more than Oakland University added to the conference.

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