Feb. 9, 2001
Q: "I am very pleased with the decision to move our football team to the Gateway Conference. I believe an equally positive change would be to move from the Sun Belt to the Missouri Valley Conference. Rivalries would form across the football and basketball programs with teams like Southern Illinois and Southwest Missouri State. Southwest Missouri also offers top notch competition for our Lady Toppers. Also, the MVC membership seems to better fit WKU, both competitively and geographically. What are your thoughts?" -- question submitted by Scott Graybill (Tulsa, Okla.)
Dr. Selig: "Scott -- very tough question. Right now, we are committed to the Sun Belt and making it the best league we can. We take pride in membership within a conference that is one of less than one dozen I-A football conferences in the country (there are almost 3 dozen total D-I conferences, but the I-A football conferences typically dominate the media coverage and exposure -- we are part of one of the highly visible I-A leagues despite not yet playing I-A football). The SBC offers us potentially better long-term visibility and more stability for membership of all of our sports (including football if we ever decide to pursue I-A football membership status). The MVC is a great conference and makes tremendous sense for all those reasons you listed. Travel in the MVC would be just as difficult as the SBC with the geographical dispersion of the MVC. We would have few bus trips that would be much shorter than those we make in the SBC. Typically we would be forced to fly to many MVC sites. The SBC is a top 10 women's basketball conference and a top 4-5 baseball conference and we are making great strides in membership, competitiveness, and national recognition. We will always keep an eye out for the best possible competitive home for the Hilltoppers as the conference landscape is a quick and ever-changing one. Thanks for your support of the Toppers. We are taking the second largest contingent to the Sun Belt Basketball Tournament in Mobile outside the host South Alabama Jaguars -- I look forward to having you join us!"
Q: "I thought Coach Harbaugh's contract was up this year and I was wondering what was going on with it. I hope you're good to him." -- question submitted by Robert Cooley (Shelbyville, Ky.)
Dr. Selig: "Thanks for your question. Coach Harbaugh has one year left on his contract. We will be talking soon to determine what his interests and desires are as well as what we need to do to extend his contract. I look forward to having those discussions soon and determining our course of action."
Q: "What do you think of the recent scholarship the football prgram has offered to Kealakehe's (Hawaii) Hailama Anakalea?" -- question submitted by Brad Booya (Waikoloa, Hawaii)
Dr. Selig: "We are very fortunate to be tapping into a rich and talented pipeline from Hawaii and Samoa. Credit goes to our assistant coach Mike Fanoga, who is from Samoa. Coach Fanoga is a terrific coach and has maintained good ties and relationships back home. We have a handful of future Hilltopper stars who will be coming to Western from your area and we look forward to welcoming them to our family. They will be fine additions to a team that returns 21 starters from a team that was ranked fifth in the nation at the conclusion of the 2000 season. I expect you will hear great things in the not so distant future about Hailama and his peers. We look forward to what the future holds. Keep up with them and hear our live radio broadcasts on our website .... wkusports.com."