The Murray State Board of Regents voted unanimously on Friday to hear any offer, if extended, to change athletic conference’s.
The vote was cast at the end of the Friday morning meeting with Murray State Director of Athletics Allen Ward and President Bob Davies making statements regarding conference realignment.
“They (The Board) needed to be updated and need to know where we are,” Ward said about bringing the vote to the table. “I thought President Davies did a good job of doing that.”
“The delegation clearly states that the board is the one that can authorize that,” Ward said about a possible move to another conference.
One of the biggest facts that came from the meeting was that Murray State would have to invest an estimated $3.5 to $4,000,000 into the athletics program over the next five years. It is also worth mentioning that if Murray State were to leave the Ohio Valley Conference they would have to pay a $1,000,000 buyout.
The overall feel of the discussion was overwhelmingly positive coming from both Davies and Ward. Davies called the opportunity to change conferences a “strategic long term approach,” that the school could benefit from for decades.
However, both Davies and Ward reiterated that although several conference’s have expressed interest in the Racers, no offer has been extended at this point.
“It is still early,” Ward said. “We wanted the Board to understand what a move to another conference would entail, no matter what conference it is.”
Ward went on to add that the position that Murray State is in currently is what sets them a part from other programs.
“I think really by the time you get involved in a conference situation for possible expansion you’ve already written your book,” said Ward. “People know about our history. They know about our brand. They know about our academic merits, about our athletic success. The reason we are in the mix is because we’ve had 74 winning seasons in 92. That’s why we are in the mix because of Murray State and our brand and what we’ve done over the years to put us in this position.”
Although men’s basketball has been a major topic when it comes to expansion no single team was spoken about specifically, and all athletic teams are being considered.
Ward said that the next “two to three weeks are critical” in this process.
By: Adam Wells, WPSD Sports