Reports: MVC Interested in Belmont, Valparaiso & Murray State after WSU Departure
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Reports this weekend indicated the Missouri Valley Conference has interest in multiple schools to join the conference after the departure of Wichita State last Friday for the American Athletic Conference.

MVC presidents and athletic directors held an 'emergency meeting' on Sunday to discuss the future of the league.

John Rothstein of FanRag Sports reported this weekend that multiple sources said the Missouri Valley Conference is interested in extending invitations to Valparaiso of the Horizon League and Murray State of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).

Another report this weekend from Cory Curtis of WKRN-TV in Nashville, TN says the Missouri Valley Conference has interest in extending an invitation to Belmont, who rejected an invitation to the league after Creighton's departure in 2013. Curtis also reports that travel costs and scholarship requirements could be a hurdle for a Belmont move to the MVC.

An important thing to keep in mind with rumored University's is their basketball budget, average attendance and average wins per season as the Valley has a profound void to fill in the conference after Wichita State's exit.

Murray State operates with a $2.21 million basketball budget, has averaged 21.2 wins the past five years and has an average attendance of 3,266. Current Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm left the Racers to become the Cyclones head coach in 2015.

Valparaiso operates with a $2.66 million basketball budget, has averaged 25.2 wins the past five years and has an average attendance of 3,572. Valpo is a good fit geographically but would likely need to make promises to the Valley that they will upgrade their facilities in the near future.

Belmont operates with a $2.95 million basketball budget, has averaged 23.4 wins the past five years and has an average attendance of 2,536. Based in Nashville the MVC could stand to benefit from expanding its footprint into such a large market, however there are budgetary concerns for Belmont's potential travel expenses with a move to the MVC.

For comparison's sake, UNI currently spends around $2.9 million annually while Indiana State represents the Valley's smallest spender at $1.6 million annually.

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  • Cole Bair handles sports for News/Talk 1540 KXEL, including sportscasts, co-hosting and producing 'On Press Row', contributing to high school football and college football and basketball programs, along with being the driving force behind HomeOfThePanthers.com. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Bair is also an avid golfer and Chicago Cubs fan, and has an excellent rapport with both players and coaches.

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