The Atlantic Sun is losing it's marquee program and the Ohio Valley Conference is significantly improving its basketball profile as the Belmont Bruins will be joining the OVC starting in the 2012-13 season.
At that time the OVC had a rule that every member school had to field a football team, leaving Belmont out. Even though former OVC Commissioner Dan Beebe played in a regular noon pickup game at Belmont with Bruins Coach Rick Byrd, friendship didn't outweigh rules. The OVC no longer has that stipulation, as two of its 11 member schools currently do not have a football team in the league. And, frankly, Belmont's men's basketball résumé has become enviable to the OVC. Thus, the decision for the Brentwood-based conference to welcome Belmont was a win-win.
This move favors everyone involved - save for the Atlantic Sun of course. For the OVC it's the addition of a 30-win program considered to be among the best programs outside of the power conferences. The Bruins have been to the NCAA Tournament four times in the past six seasons. For Belmont, it will mean easier travel and massive savings. The team will no longer have to fly for conference games, players will miss fewer classes and according to Athletics Director Mike Strickland the school will save upwards of $250,000 a year in travel expenses.
Overall this seems like the perfect situation for Belmont - what do you think?