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Southland Conference Concludes Spring Meeting
FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference concluded its annual Spring Meeting last week with news related to its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, a continued focus on academic improvement and cost containment measures in the struggling national economy.
Men’s and women’s basketball coaches, football coaches, athletic directors, faculty representatives, senior woman administrators, presidents and special guests attended the year-end business meetings, which were held May 26-29, at the San Luis Resort and Convention Center in Galveston, Texas.
“This was another productive week for coaches and administrators, as we covered a great deal of information and made important decisions for the future of the conference,” Southland commissioner Tom Burnett said. “There is always a great spirit of camaraderie and cooperation among our meeting attendees as they value the conference and the benefits of the continued athletic and academic partnerships.”
The presidential Board of Directors voted to conduct the 2010 and 2011 State Farm Southland Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. The tournament, which was also played at the Merrell Center in 2008 and 2009, will remain as an eight-team men’s and women’s event with the event winners earning automatic berths into the NCAA tournament. The 2010 tournament will be held March 10-13.
“The basketball coaches and administrators are in general agreement that the tournament continues to grow and improve,” Burnett said. The influx of corporate sponsorship revenue, the warm welcome our teams and visitors receive in Katy, the expanded television exposure, and the traditional Division I postseason experience led the presidents to approve the extension.”
The Board also approved an Advisory Council recommendation to reduce the number of non-Division I opponents in men’s and women’s basketball in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Men’s and women’s teams will only be permitted to play a maximum of three non-Division I opponents in 2010-11 and two such teams in 2011-12. Basketball teams are currently allowed to play the NCAA maximum of four non-Division I opponents.
Administrators reviewed the conference’s updated data from the NCAA Academic Performance Program, acknowledged an improving trend in many sports and continued to mandate further progress to ensure the conference’s institution meet Division I standards.
“While we can collectively point to considerable progress in the Academic Performance Program in the last year, the presidents were again very clear that continued improvement remains the number one priority for all institutions in the conference,” Burnett said.
The administrative groups also reaffirmed a number of previously approved cost-reduction measures in 2009-10, including the consolidation of administrative meetings, freezes in officiating fees in most sports and the use of conference calls instead of in-person meetings for all coaches’ committees.
Further cost-reduction actions include the distribution of championship mementos only to student-athletes and other student personnel, and the requiring the track and field coaches to establish championship qualifying standards or entrant limitations effective in 2009-10.
Administrators decided not to reduce the number of teams that currently qualify for conference championships, but will continue to study the implementation of travel squad limitations in future regular-season travel.
The conference also approved championship sites for the 2010-11 academic year, including host locations for men’s and women’s cross country (Lamar), women’s soccer (Southeastern Louisiana), volleyball (Sam Houston State), men’s and women’s tennis (UTSA), softball (Sam Houston State) and baseball (Texas State).
The conference’s Hall of Honors ceremony was held during the meeting, with former basketball legends Joe Dumars from McNeese State and women’s coach Gary Blair of Stephen F. Austin being inducted. Additionally, the conference’s F.L. McDonald Postgraduate Scholarships were awarded to Jordan Nipp, a baseball student-athlete at Northwestern State, and to Marie Moser, a women’s basketball student-athlete at Texas State. The Steve McCarty Citizenship Awards were presented to Kenrick Cormier, a football student-athlete at McNeese State, and Lyndzee Greene, a women’s basketball student-athlete at Northwestern State.
Southland Conference Media Relations