The Commerce Journal

February 3, 2014

McMurry decides not to enter LSC

Full impact of decision remains to be seen

By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal

ABILENE — McMurry University announced late last week that they would not be moving forward with their plans to join the Lone Star Conference for the 2014 season.

 “After reviewing the information available from the last two years and carefully considering all our options, the board has decided that NCAA Division III is a more appropriate fit for the University moving forward,” Board Chairman Chuck Fallon said in a release from McMurry. “We understand this will be a difficult adjustment for our student athletes, their families and for our athletic coaches. The McMurry administration will work closely with all those affected to provide assistance in making this transition.” 

MucMurry was going to be a much-needed addition to the Lone Star Conference, particularly in football. The LSC recently lost Abilene Christian University and Incarnate Word to Division I, and five schools left at the end of the 2010-2011 athletic season. The LSC, which used to have two divisions in football, are down to seven football teams. McMurry's decision will undoubtedly impact the conference football playoff the LSC planned on holdg in 2014.

That being said, the LSC has been a football powerhouse over the last several years, including such heavyweights as Midwestern State, West Texas A&M, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Tarleton State and breakout teams Eastern New Mexico and Texas A&M University-Commerce. From top to bottom, the LSC is one of the toughest Division II conferences. 

How MucMurry's depature will impact the upcoming athletic season remains to be seen, according to LSC Commissioner Stan Wagnon in a press release.

"The Lone Star Conference has been notified by McMurry University of its decision to no longer pursue membership in NCAA Division II," Wagnon said. "At this time, we have had limited communication with officials at McMurry, and some questions remain about how today's announcement might affect McMurry's commitment to the Lone Star Conference as an affiliate member in the sports of Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field for Winter 2014, Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field for Spring 2014, and Football for Fall 2014.