Towson State, which made an unsuccessful bid to join the North Atlantic Conference before becoming a member of the Big South two years ago, apparently is interested in heading north again.
NAC commissioner Stuart Haskell said the eight-member conference plans to expand to at least 10 and possibly 12 schools over the next four years. The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that Towson State has applied for membership to the NAC and is being seriously considered. Haskell neither would confirm nor deny that report.
"I've been asked by the schools concerned not to comment on it, although I'll let you make your own guesses and you'll probably be right," Haskell said.
"I think they [Towson State] would be a highly desirable addition to our conference," he added. "I've always been impressed by the people who are employed there, in the athletic department as well as the rest of the administration. They do things right and they do things well. It's a fine institution."
Officials in the Towson State athletic department have declined to comment. Hoke L. Smith, the university president, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Two years ago, when Towson State was leaving the East Coast Conference, the school pursued the NAC. But primarily for budgetary reasons, the NAC declined to add a ninth school.
Towson State then joined the Big South, which has run into problems lately. Campbell University, one of the league's charter members, announced three weeks ago that it was leaving the conference in June. Should that occur, the conference temporarily could lose its automatic qualifier for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
"I haven't heard any rumblings, just small talk," Towson State men's basketball coach Terry Truax said. "I have some concerns about our automatic qualifier. Should we lose it, then it's important that we look in other directions. You've got to keep your options open."
GET THE NAC
Towson State apparently is seeking entrance to the North Atlantic Conference, which has eight members:
Boston U. .. .. .. ..Delaware
Drexel .. .. .. .. ..Hartford
Maine .. .. .. ..N. Hampshire
Northeastern .. .. ...Vermont