Thursday, February 15, 2007

NWC Presidents and ADs beware of uprooting Oaks

Yeah this is probably the conspiracy theorist coming out in me but talk around the water cooler would suggest that our newest NWC member, The Menlo Oaks, might be looking to dance with another partner.

I came across a blog entry from the sports department from the Medford Mail Tribune (Mail Tribune Blogs) where the writer had a recent sit down with SOU’s Athletic Director Dennis Francois. The writer was there to do a mainstream piece on Southern’s budget issues and how that might effect their athletic department. That was OK but then I read the blog and something jumped out at me:

“(SOU), Azusa Pacific and the University of British Columbia are the primary movers and shakers trying to form the Pacific International Football Conference. Francois says negotiations are ongoing with other schools, and the NAIA is directly involved.

Other schools in the discussion are Simon Fraser, Cal Baptist, Concordia Irvine, Fresno Pacific and Menlo College. Azusa, Cal Baptist, Concordia and Fresno are members of the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), and several don’t have football programs at present but are considering adding it if this comes to pass.”

What does AD Francois mean by “Menlo”? Now I know I could be jumping to a big conclusion here but is Menlo in backroom discussions with SOU, Azusa and others about jumping the DIII ship and taking their football program to the NAIA? On some level I would get that, all of the Oaks athletic programs are NAIA except for football. If Cal Baptist, Concordia, and Fresno Pacific brought back football then I can hardly blame them for making a move to the NAIA and being able to have 4 more local rivals but hearing items like this should be really concerning to the NWC.

Let face it, at this point the NWC needs Menlo in the conference while Lewis & Clark tries to get some sort of footing. Just imagine if L&C tanked their program and then Menlo bolted for a new NAIA conference…..the NWC would be in worse shape than old Maxwell Field in mid-November.

A true comfort to me is the local NAIA school's inability to get anything done and that the Pios might have a better chance of upsetting the ‘Cats next season than those California schools bringing back football anytime soon.

For now we can rest easy but we should be keeping a close eye on our newly adopted sister school from California for Menlo’s NWC roots don’t run that deep.

Medford Mail Tribune Blog: Are you down with PIFC? Ya you know me!

update: Matt has pointed out to me that Menlo's Baseball and Softball programs are also DIII. Talk about an identity crisis.


Matt said...

Just to clarify, Menlo baseball and softball are both NCAA sports as well.

Wildcat11 said...

Ah...thank you Matt. Do they play baseball/softball in the Cal-Pac?

Beancounter said...

Wildcat11 accurately points out the problems with this league taking root. I'm rather doubtful that the two Canadian institutions mentioned would want to play American football (as in 11 man football). Simon Fraser was a member of the old Columbia Football Association...but it wasn't very popular with their base and migrated back to the Canadian game.