Interesting comment from South Dakota State head men’s basketball coach Scott Nagy in the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader newspaper. He made reference to Sioux Falls, located 50 miles from Brookings, getting The Summit League men’s and women’s post-season basketball tournaments in 2009 and 2010.
SDSU (and NDSU and IPFW) have yet to play a league game and already the Jacks have the biggest event by miles in the conference.
"I thought about the other teams in the league that have been in the league," said Nagy, the SDSU men’s coach, whose club begins conference play 2007-08, "and I don’t know if I’d be particularly happy if I were some of those schools."
Well, maybe so. But I didn’t see any of those other schools besides Oral Roberts in Tulsa putting up a bid. One of criteria is the tourney cannot be held in the home arena of one of the league members. Indianapolis (IUPUI) has Conseco Fieldhouse, Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Pepsi Coliseum. Kansas City (UMKC) is about to open the $276 million Sprint Center. Shreveport, La., (Centenary College) has the CenturyTel Center that seats thousands. Oakland, Mich., (Oakland University) is exactly 9.18 miles from Auburn Hills and The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Only Southern Utah, IPFW and Western Illinois do not have access to nearby arenas.
All league schools had equal opportunity to put in a bid and I’m sure there are several reasons, mainly financial, why they didn’t. Granted, no other school has publicly criticized awarding the tournaments to Sioux Falls that I know of, but SDSU should not feel the need to apologize for stepping to the plate. It’s what this league needs; teams to give Oral Roberts a little competition for conference dominance.