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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Another school could meet Horizon League's desire for further expansion in Detroit

It's long been assumed Oakland would be a natural fit to the Horizon League, but a Cleveland Plain Dealer story exploring the opportunity for Cleveland State to advance in the conference wondered about another Michigan college joining when Butler leaves.
Already with Detroit in the conference, the story guesses the Horizon League could further stamp its footprint in the city by adding Division II Wayne State. That, of course, would require the school to step its athletics up to Division I, as Oakland did when it joined the Mid-Continent Conference Summit League in the late 1990s.
"If the HL wants to have more of an imprint in the Detroit market, it could go after Oakland University, another Summit League team in the suburbs of the Motor City; or even try to lure Wayne State, a very solid Division II program that fits the league profile with its urban Motown campus."
The story, however, misidentied the Rochester campus nearly 20,000 strong as a private institution, so it's unclear if that designation has any effect on the forecast.
Wayne State, which competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference — Oakland's Division II home until 1997, has a population of more than 30,000.  
Oakland's Summit League rival IUPUI is also identified as a possible replacement for departing Butler, which would keep the Horizon League in Indianapolis. 
It has been previously reported Butler could leave the Horizon League as soon as May 1 (Tuesday), leaving at least one vacancy.

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