Big Sky Conference poised to add 2 or 3 teams Monday

League expansion
2010-10-31T22:58:00Z 2010-11-01T14:29:27Z Big Sky Conference poised to add 2 or 3 teams MondayGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
October 31, 2010 10:58 pm  • 

The Big Sky Conference has announced that it will issue a press release Monday afternoon “regarding league expansion,” and multiple sources indicate that the University of North Dakota and Southern Utah, and possibly the University of South Dakota, will accept invitations to join the Big Sky.

The Big Sky will make the announcement via press release at 2 p.m. Monday.

Press conferences have also been scheduled for Monday at North Dakota and Southern Utah.

South Dakota has also reportedly received an invitation from the Big Sky. USD sources are believed to be considering the offer, though as of Sunday night the school had not scheduled a press conference.

If all three schools join, the Big Sky would become a 12-team league in all sports except football. Including the earlier football-only expansion of Cal Poly and UC-Davis, the league would become a 14-team football conference — the largest in the FCS, surpassing the 12-team Colonial Athletic Conference.

North Dakota had been scheduled to receive a visit from Summit League officials regarding membership this week, but UND officials canceled the visit on Friday. South Dakota also plays in the Great West and had been expected to join the Summit League next year.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Southern Utah currently play football in the Great West Conference in football. UND and USD are Division I independents in other sports, and Southern Utah’s other sports play in the Summit League.

UND and South Dakota both made the move to Division I in 2008.

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