Loyola invited to join Midwest league MCC considering expansion into East

October 11, 1991|By Jeff Fletcher

Loyola athletic director Joe Boylan said yesterday that he has had three meetings with Midwest Collegiate Conference officials about the school becoming a member of the MCC.

MCC assistant commissioner Mike Herman confirmed yesterday that the conference is considering expansion out of its current region (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois).

The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that the MCC has invited Loyola, La Salle in Philadelphia and Duquesne in Pittsburgh, along with Midwestern schools Bradley, Creighton and Drake.

Neither Boylan, nor Duquesne athletic director Brian Colleary would say the MCC officially has invited either school to join the conference. Colleary said the MCC has had "considerable conversation" with Duquesne, La Salle and Loyola.

Herman, who said the conference is looking to grow from six to 12 teams, said the league is examining an undisclosed number of schools that are similar to those in the MCC -- Butler, Dayton, Detroit, Evansville, Loyola, Ill., and Xavier.

"I think we are looking to affiliate ourselves with like institutions -- in urban areas, private, with high academic standards," Herman said. "I think it may be difficult to expand to 12 teams if we stayed in the Midwest."

Boylan and Colleary each said the decision was in the hands of the schools now.

"If I say we'll join, then they'll invite me," Colleary said.

Boylan said he was impressed with the MCC's presentation, but the decision would be made involving high-level Loyola officials. Boylan added that Loyola president, the Rev. Joseph A. Sellinger, who is out of the country and could not be reached for comment, was happy with the MAAC.

"If the decision were made today, there'd be no decision," Boylan said. "We'd stay in the MAAC."

Boylan said one of the main advantages of joining the MCC would be a higher level of play for the Loyola soccer team. Last season, the Greyhounds were 16-2-5 and won the MAAC for the second consecutive year, but did not make the NCAA tournament because the MAAC, lightly regarded as a soccer conference, has no automatic bid.

The downside would be travel. The expansion, which would include all sports except lacrosse, would put Loyola in a conference with teams in Detroit, Dayton, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and -- if Creighton is added -- Omaha, Neb.

Boylan, who said he has been in close contact with officials at La Salle regarding the move, said it would be impractical from a travel standpoint for the MCC to expand into only one of the eastern cities.

Boylan also said the MAAC would be less attractive in basketball if La Salle, which is one of the top programs in the conference, were to leave.

Herman said there is no timetable to announce the invitations, but if the conference wanted the new teams to begin play in the 1992-93 season, expansion would have to take place before the end of 1991 because of logistical concerns such as scheduling and arranging tournaments.

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