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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.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's now official — Detroit once blocked Oakland from Horizon League

Greg Kampe, never one to mince words, confirmed what Oakland fans have long theorized — the University of Detroit once blocked Oakland from joining the Horizon League. 
In an Associated Press story Wednesday, Kampe said the Horizon had been in contact with Oakland about joining in 2002. That would have been, depending on the time of year, just two years after Oakland joined the Summit League.

"About 10 years ago, there was interest in us from the Horizon League and Detroit stopped it," Oakland coach Greg Kampe recalled. "I know that's a fact because I called the athletic director then, Brad Kinsman, and he told me."
Like a good jounralist, author Larry Lage contacted Kinsman, who confirmed the snub.
"The feeling back then was that it didn't make sense to share this market with another school in the same conference," said Kinsman, who retired in 2006. "Times have changed, coaches have changed, but I don't know what the thinking is now."
Kampe discussed the present possibility of joining the Horizon League Tuesday in the season's final "Greg Kampe Show" Tuesday on WXOU.
"I would hope they (Detroit) would see what we would bring to the Horizon League," Kampe said, noting he's forgotten about the slight a decade ago. He went on to discuss Oakland's success in Olympic sports, especially swimming. Kampe also noted in men's basketball, which is the Horizon's cornerstone, Oakland's RPI and attendance over the last three seasons would place the Golden Grizzlies within the Horizon's top third of teams.
While we're left to wonder what could have been and what might be, it might offer some closure to Oakland fans.


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