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tBBC Why doesn’t the Big 10 Include Men’s Volleyball?

Discussion in 'News' started by jcollingsworth, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Why doesn’t the Big 10 Include Men’s Volleyball?
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    The Big Ten carries a commanding presence in Division I Collegiate Sports. It is, in fact, the oldest Athletic Conference in the Nation. With this notoriety certainly comes a high level of respect. Penn State can attest to the benefits they received, and continue to reap, and expect since entering the Big Ten’s sports kingdom back in 1993.

    The Ohio State University has 18 Varsity Men’s Sports listed in their program – only one is not a part of the Big Ten Conference – Men’s Volleyball – which plays in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA).

    The only other team in the Big Ten that lists Men’s Volleyball in their Sports Program is Penn State. Of their 15 listed Varsity Men’s sports only Volleyball is not part of the Big Ten. They play in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA).

    No other team in the Big Ten has Men’s Volleyball other than the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions.

    The completion in the MIVA for the Buckeyes include teams such as Lewis University, Ball State, Lindenwood University, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), Quincy University, McKendree University, Grand Canyon University, and last year’s NCAA National Champions, Loyola University-Chicago.

    Not to be disrespectful but such a lineup just does not seem to meet the standards of completion for The Ohio State University, same for Penn State – which in their EIVA Conference there is certainly a better list: Harvard, Princeton, George Mason & New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to mention but a few – but just as the Buckeyes – this is seemingly a pale list of completion for what we equate as a challenge for the Nittany Lions.

    Understand that the Big Ten is not the lone “Big” Conference that does not list Men’s Volleyball in their world of sports. The SEC does not. The ACC does not. The PAC 12 does not – though some of the greatest competition is the West Coast who sees action in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF).

    Volleyball though is listed in the Varsity Sports Programs for Women in each Big Ten School. The case is the same in each “Major” Conference. Arguably Women’s Volleyball musters more attention though than that of the Men’s. The development of a fan base is easier to accumulate. But this is because it is promoted, whereas the Men’s is not.

    The Big Ten Network is evidence enough. The television station is dedicated to 24-hour coverage of everything Big Ten sports. So why can’t men’s volleyball — a sport that is starving for a loyal fan base — benefit from this?

    If in fact the “Major” Conferences took the opportunities to advance Men’s Volleyball than its promotion undoubtedly would succeed.
    The Pac-12 Networks periodically streams MPSF volleyball matches. The West Coast is home to some of the most prosperous collegiate men’s volleyball programs in the nation. Ten of the top 15 ranked teams in the AVCA coaches’ poll are West Coast Teams; UCLA, USC, and UC Irvine are regularly listed in the upper part of the rankings on a consistent basis. And schools such as Pepperdine, Stanford, and UC Santa Barbara always manage to upset a highly ranked Eastern School.

    The reason for dominance in the West is that to be the best – you need to play the best. That’s out west. The East could, though, be part of the equation. If the Big Ten took the lead in including Men’s Volleyball in ALL of their programs the talent would flock to this sports Mecca. Ohio State and Penn State have both proven they can play with the “talent” out West. Penn State was the first non-California team to win a NCAA Championship – doing so in 1994. The Ohio State University won the National Title in 2011 and was runner-up in 2000. They are currently ranked # 6 nationally.

    The problem is not a scarcity of talent, but rather a lack of prospects to display the talent that deserves to be shown.

    NCAA Men’s volleyball clearly wants to survive. The need for the Big Ten and the other “Major” Conferences to make the sport recognizable and relevant within the national scope will be simple participation – everything else will be worked out as play unfolds.

    Women’s Volleyball in the Big Ten leads the Nation in attendance and has done so since 1997. The fan base for the sport is here. The attention it needs for growth is to let it happen.

    It would be great to see Men’s Volleyball in the Big Ten – finally allowing the two East Coast powerhouses – OSU & PSU – to battle for the crown of the league’s best.

    The post Why doesn’t the Big 10 Include Men’s Volleyball? appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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