University of Maryland Baltimore County athletic director Charlie Brown said yesterday that his school "would go to the Atlantic 10 if invited," even though the Retrievers just entered the Big South on Monday.
"We've made no secret to the Big South that we're looking for a bigger established conference," said Brown. "We'll continue talks with the Atlantic 10. We'll pursue the Atlantic 10, but I'm not sure if they are interested in us. If they are, we'll go through another evaluation process."
Brown said UMBC would have to increase its overall athletic operating budget to meet Atlantic 10 standards, but "we'd do it. We've said before we want to become a fully funded Division I school. The entry fee for the Atlantic 10 is $150,000."
Meanwhile, Duquesne will leave the Atlantic 10 to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference beginning next season. Brown said he had talks with Atlantic 10 commissioner Ron Bertovich last fall when Duquesne's departure was rumored.
"But there was no timetable then," said Brown. "We couldn't sit around and wait. At least the Atlantic 10 didn't turn us down."