One person with a unique viewpoint on Western Kentucky’s move to Conference USA is Old Dominion athletic director Wood Selig.
Selig was AD at WKU for nearly 11 years before leaving in 2010 to accept the same position at Old Dominion.
ODU will move from the Colonial Athletic Association to Conference USA in 2013, except for its football program, which will make the jump in 2014.
Selig talked to the Daily News on Monday about what WKU brings to Conference USA, what the school will gain from the league and how crucial it was for WKU to make a move from the Sun Belt Conference at this time.
WOOD SELIG, OLD DOMINION AD
What are your thoughts on Conference USA adding WKU? “I think it’s a great fit. WKU brings a lot of history and tradition, as well as present-day competitiveness to the league. I think if you want to focus in particular on basketball, we strive to be a multi-bid basketball conference with both men and women. WKU boosts greatly in that regard by bringing two strong teams. … I think it makes a lot of sense, and also with travel partners. If you’re talking about being smart with your resources, being able to fly into Nashville and pick up games with both WKU and Middle Tennessee makes a lot of sense.”
More on addition of WKU: “Look at our basketball conference now. You’ll have Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee playing great, WKU, Southern Mississippi, Charlotte coming in, you have us, you have Marshall. All of a sudden, you have a very talented basketball conference. On the women’s side, you have some major programs historically with Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech, WKU. Wow, that’s phenomenal.”
Talk about what WKU stands to gain from Conference USA’s television deals: “Conference USA has great television presence across a number of sports, on not only ESPN, but Fox and CBS. It’s definitely a national conference from a television perspective, and WKU will benefit greatly from that. The resources and revenue distribution in Conference USA are considerably more than what WKU has been enjoying from the Sun Belt.”
How important was it for WKU to make this move right now? “I think this was a critical move at the right time for WKU. It reunites them with Middle Tennessee, which I think is important, and it gets them out of a situation that was starting to transition – the Sun Belt is going through its own transition that was perhaps not in WKU’s best interest. I think this move allows WKU to be back on solid ground with conference affiliation.”