Oral Roberts' long-rumored departure from the Summit League became reality in a Tuesday press conference. The reaction from league was brief, highlighted by comments from commissioner Tom Douple, which gave the impression the move was long-awaited:
"It is not a surprise Oral Roberts accepted the opportunity to align itself with a more geographic conference," he said. "The decision further tightens the Summit League’s midwestern footprint."
That leaves Oakland fans buzzing, wondering if and when Oakland could or would ever leave the Summit League for a closer league such as the Horizon League.
never say never about something like that," Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. "Oral Roberts did what they
think is best for their university. Oakland and our president will
always do what they think is best for our university. Could that mean
moving leagues? Sure. Could that mean staying for 20 more years? Sure. I
don’t know what’s going to happen in the future."
Kampe presumes Oral Roberts' departure to be a cost-cutting measure, with Southland opponents being closer in proximity than those of the Summit, which is notoriously spread across the country.
Oral Roberts will be the sixth team to leave the conference, formerly the Mid-Continent, in Kampe's nearly 30-year tenure. Long-time rival Valparaiso, which is again on Oakland's non-conference schedule, left the Mid-Con in 2006.
league has grown," Kampe said. "I’m going to miss that rivalry. It takes a long time
to build that. We had some games. Both teams have to win them.”