I talked Monday with Middle Tennessee athletic director Chris Massaro about Western Kentucky’s move to Conference USA.
Massaro talked about what WKU brings to the league, keeping the schools’ rivalry in place, and whether or not any sports will meet in 2013 before WKU makes its jump in 2014. Here are his comments:
CHRIS MASSARO, MIDDLE TENNESSEE AD
What are your initial thoughts on WKU joining Conference USA? “I think when you look at the maturity of the program and the success that they’ve had – with the way money’s going to be distributed in football and basketball – you obviously want to do more and improve your RPIs. Western Kentucky brings an all-around great program, and one we’ve always enjoyed competing against, so we’re ecstatic.”
What does it mean to keep that rivalry in place? It obviously means a great deal to both institutions. Those are always fun to win and hard to lose.”
Talk about the future of the Sun Belt, and the job it’s done to react to this ever-changing situation: “Since we announced, Middle Tennessee hasn’t really been a part of those future discussions. We haven’t been inside those rooms, but there’s some great institutions there – competitive institutions that we’ve enjoyed our competitions with. You just hope for the best for your former partners.”
Will any WKU-MTSU sports meet for games in 2013? We’ve talked informally, and so now, it’s going to be a little different dynamic knowing they’re coming into the league. Do we take a year off, and how do we decide who’s at home? Those kinds of things. I haven’t had a chance to talk to (WKU athletic director) Todd (Stewart) about that. The easy one’s football because it’s scheduled so far out in advance. We’ll take a year off in football, and I would assume we’ll resume in 2014, but the basketball ones are a little different, so we’d need some discussion there.”