CARBONDALE — Valparaiso could be the Missouri Valley Conference's 10th member for the upcoming school year, according to a report from college basketball analyst Mark Adams Tuesday.
Adams, who works for ESPN and the American Sports Network, also does games for the Valley. Adams tweeted Tuesday afternoon a source confirmed to him that Valparaiso was likely to be the MVC's 10th member and likely to be the league's only addition this year, but cautioned the move was fluid. A search committee from the league visited Valparaiso, Murray State, Nebraska-Omaha and Milwaukee in late April, according to multiple reports.
Adams tweeted the situation could change quickly, and that the Valley's presidents council had not met to vote or made a formal invitation to the Crusaders. The MVC is looking at adding at least one team, or multiple teams, after the departure of Wichita State later this summer for the American Athletic Conference.
MVC basketball coaches are gathering in St. Louis for their annual meeting with league officials. It is not clear if the presidents council, which would have to vote to add a new school into the league, will meet during that meeting or has scheduled a meeting.
Valley officials have declined to comment on the search, or anything related to it, until it ends or the league decides to stay put with nine teams in 2017-18. The league is expected to make a decision soon on possible expansion, based on the fact men's and women's basketball teams are in the middle of scheduling for the upcoming season and would have to know about a change in the number of conference games or their format, if any, as soon as possible.
Valparaiso, a private school located in Valparaiso, Indiana, currently competes in the Horizon League. The Valley added Loyola in 2013 from the Horizon League after Creighton left the Valley for the Big East Conference.
Murray State athletic director Allen Ward tweeted Tuesday the Racers had not been notified of Valparaiso's addition, and were still in the running to join the MVC. Ward said no vote or discussion to vote had taken place to add anyone to the Valley.
SIU athletic director Tommy Bell, the Salukis' rep on the search committee, wrote in his monthly newsletter Sunday to expect some sort of news on the possible expansion this month.
"Our league is making excellent progress on the membership front," Bell said. "I've spent the past week traveling with other representatives of the conference to visit potential sites and meet their administrators. While I can't give you specifics, I can say without hesitation that the process is advancing in a thorough and orderly fashion."