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Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Summit League looking to expand?

Expansion could be coming to The Summit League soon. The conference announced it would be visiting South Dakota on Jan. 20-21 in a press release. What this means I’m not sure, but I do know the conference wouldn’t announce it’s going if it wasn’t seriously considering adding South Dakota. The Coyotes are in their first year of Division I.

“We feel really good about it, but it's just another step — not the final step by any means," USD athletic director Joel Nielsen told the Argus-Leader. "I think, though, that we can make a strong case for the academic profile of our university and our geographic footprint fitting in with the current membership."

Apparently North Dakota, which is also in its first year of Division I is not being considered by The Summit League until it solves it’s issue with the Sioux nickname and logo.

“I’m not presenting any information to the (league’s) presidents council on the University of North Dakota until the logo issue is resolved one way or the other,” Summit League commissioner Tom Douple told the Grand Folks Hearld. “I don’t want it to be an issue for our members.”

Douple also told the Grand Folks Herald there is no timetable for expansion, “But we’re always looking at our options.”

If both Dakotas are added, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they both were, then the league could consider dividing into two six-team divisions. Time will tell what happens, but it should be interesting what the league does over the next few years.

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