Reprinted from

Oldduke on JMU CSN Board wrote:This was at the end of a long email from Pres. Alger to JMU employees titled "Spring Update" ...

Conference Affiliation Discussions: The topic of athletics conference membership continues to be on the minds of many of our constituents. As we plot our course through a constantly shifting landscape, we remain committed to thoughtful and open communication.

We are well aware of the changing scene within our conference as well as nationally. In response, we have engaged in a rigorous analysis of our athletic profile within the context of our strategic planning process. This process, resulting in The Madison Plan, confirmed our institutional core values: Academic Quality, Community, Diversity, Excellence, Integrity and Student Focus. Further, we determined that any new conference membership opportunity must align with the following guiding principles and criteria: academic profile and fit, university culture, student and student-athlete welfare, financial impact and sustainability, competitive balance, and geographic footprint. Feedback received from the JMU community and its many constituencies through extensive and thoughtful dialogue supports these values and principles, and we will use them as criteria for all future decisions, including those involving athletics.

Consistent with these values and principles and the ongoing issue of conference alignment, JMU will not pursue or accept an invitation from a conference that does not meet our criteria. If we do receive an offer consistent with our established values, we are prepared to review it and make a recommendation to the Board of Visitors. This process is ongoing and will require continued support on the part of the university, students, faculty, staff, coaches, alumni, and fans.

In the meantime, we are enjoying the close of our spring sports season and looking forward to an exciting new year in 2014-15 across our entire athletics program.

As you can tell, it has been an eventful year at JMU. JMU is clearly on the move, and we are excited about the future as we continue to dream big together. Thank you all for being part of the JMU community!

Jon Alger

If legitimate ... Wow!

Going down the checklist:

Sun Belt: Academic Profile: No, Financial Sustainability: No, Geographic Footprint: No
AAC: Academic Profile: Maybe, Financial Sustainability: Yes: Geographic Footprint: No
C-USA: Academic Profile: Maybe, Financial Sustainability: Yes: Geographic Footprint: Yes

More to the point, though, JMU isn't SEARCHING for a conference, they are letting a conference COME TO THEM. This clarifies, IMO, JMU's intentions and strategy for the next three months at least.