Dr. Wood Selig Responds!

Oct. 9, 2000

Q: "Do you foresee Western moving to Division I-A football in the near future?"

Dr. Selig: "We are very happy with our football program and its direction right now. We have had four and now potentially five excellent years of success both on and off the field. Consistent success is essential at this stage in our football program's continual evolution. As we prepare for our move to the Gateway Conference, considered by many to be the best I-AA conference in the country, we need to ensure that we can consistently be competitive at that level first before we give consideration to I-A.

Typically, schools such as Marshall who make the smoothest transition from I-AA to I-A do so by competiting at the highest of their existing level of competition, within their conference and I-AA. We need to prove we can play at the top of the Gateway, which will place us firmly among the I-AA elites nationally, and then we can start looking at a potential transition if it makes financial and competitive sense and fits within the overall mission of the athletic department and Western Kentucky University. We would also want to keep abreast of the ever-changing landscape of what I-A and I-AA might be in the future. There may, in the near future, be no more I-A or I-AA divisions, only Division I football. The issue thus may actually resolve itself.

Therefore, the best strategy for us at this point is to move our football program and its facilities (L.T. Smith Stadium, practice fields, weight room, training room, etc.) forward as far as we possibly can so we are in a position to control our own destiny and not have it dictated to us.

Thanks for your question and your continued support of Hilltopper athletics."