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rabbit74

Welcome back to The Summit

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rabbit74

Welcome back to The Summit in just a few days.  You will find The Summit to be a stronger league than when you left.  The addition of Denver is a high light for the sports they sponsor.  The departure of one of the weaker schools from the conference has also served to raise the caliber of competition.  And USD is coming along nicely in some sports.  Omaha has won the regular season baseball title the last two years but won't be eligible for post season for another year.

 

I look forward to seeing the Golden Eagles try :) to challenge our Jackrabbits again.  I felt that we were just beginning to develop a good rivalry when you left.  The Jacks have won the Commissioner's Cup the past two seasons and this year won both the men's and women's all sports trophy.

 

It will be interesting to see how the Jacks compete this year in men's basketball with the loss of four of the top 6 players.  But there are some good new players coming in including a transfer from Wisconsin who will be eligible to play in the spring semester

 

It is quite possible that this year's women's basketball team could be the best ever for SDSU.

 

In any case, I look forward to seeing you play in Brookings and Sioux Falls this year.

 

 

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ORU82

Thanks Rabbit74, it is good to be back.

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theeagleman5

Let's raise an Old Milwaukee to our old friends in the Summit!!!.... :clap:

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LUSportsFan

Wishing you success in the Summit.  I thought you were a great add to the SLC and will be a great re-add to the Summit.

 

I would have liked ORU stick around a little longer and help grow our conference, but I understand that a university has to make the moves it thinks are in its best interest.  I was excited with the announcement that ORU was joining the SLC and was looking forward to some good basketball and baseball games with the Golden Eagles.  My wife has tons of relatives in the Oklahoma City / Tulsa area so I was looking forward to road trips up the Indian Nation Turnpike and on to Tulsa.  We even have a PikePass on our car.  :smile:

 

Our men's basketball team killed hope of decent competition with anyone the last two years with the worst two seasons in our history.  All we did was help drag down the conference RPI.  It would be nice to meet each other in OOC when the our team is competitive again.

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theeagleman5

TheEagleman would be all in favor of a home and home series with Lamar......where do we sign????? :nerd:

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Old Titan

ORU is coming off arguably it's worst D-1 athletic campaign in 30 years:  only one men's team finished in the upper division of conference play in 8 sports (men's basketball - tie for 6th), while just three women's teams finished in the upper half of the conference standings in their respective 8 sports (soccer, volleyball and golf).

 

The ultimate indignity may have been the 15-time Mid-Con/Summit League champion ORU baseball team finishing 9th in Southland Conference play and not even qualifying for the post-season tournament.

 

Regardless of the strength of the Summit League, it's a welcome change of scenery after that nightmare.

 

Nowhere to go but up....

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rabbit74

Was there any particular reason your athletic teams dropped off in competitiveness last year?  I don't think the Southland is as strong as the Summit in most sports.  Or was it just one of those cyclic things that hits every once in a while?

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ORU82

I believe overall the Summit is stronger, but the Southland did have a few good teams/athletes. However, the Southland as a conference is a complete joke basically going nowhere fast. Thank God we are out of it.

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ORU82

Perhaps I was not clear enough in my last post. For any AD considering a move to the Southland they should first put down the crack bowl, and then back away from the liquor cabinet.

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LUSportsFan

Was there any particular reason your athletic teams dropped off in competitiveness last year?  I don't think the Southland is as strong as the Summit in most sports.  Or was it just one of those cyclic things that hits every once in a while?

Sad to see ORU leave, but wish the Golden Eagles and the rest of the Summit League future success.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I'm a numbers person so I was curious how the numbers stacked up for each conference in two of ORU's main sports.

 

Arguably, the Southland has better baseball.  For example, ORU with an RPI of 95, would be the highest RPI for the Summit.  The next highest Summit RPI was Omaha at 177.  The Southland had two teams with better RPI's than ORU, Sam Houston State (34) and Southeastern Louisiana (67).

 

Excluding ORU, the Southland had 9 teams with an RPI better than 200.  All 9 had a better RPI than Omaha's 177.  The Summit had one team with an RPI better than 200, Omaha. 

 

Two SLC teams made the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.  SHSU won 2 tournament games in the 2014 tournament.  SLU won 1 tournament game in the 2014 tournament.  For the second year, an SLC team made it to the Regional final game.  Summit rep NDSU did not win a game in the 2014 tournament.

 

For the Southland, one question is how well ACU and UIW transition into D-1.

 

-------------------------------------------------------

 

In men's basketball, I think the Summit has the edge, but it's a little more complicated.  The top of the SLC compares favorably with the Summit.   The Southland's problem is the bottom, regrettably including us the last two years.  Hopefully, our ship is being righted.  (Too bad ORU caught us with the two worst years in our history.)

 

Breaking it down a little more...

 

Excluding ORU, the Southland had 3 teams with an RPI better than 200.  The Summit had 4.  Looking at the lowest Summit RPI (322 for IUPUI), the Summit and the Southland had the same amount of teams with 322 or better (excluding ORU).  The NCAA tournament representatives of both conferences had about the same success.  SFA was a 12 seed in the South Region.  NDSU was a 12 seed in the Midwest Region.  SFA defeated 5 seed VCU.  NDSU defeated Oklahoma.  SFA lost to 4 seed UCLA 77-60.  NDSU lost to 4 seed San Diego State 63-40.  Both conferences were one bid leagues.

 

The bottom in the Southland stinks.  That's where the Summit has the advantage.

 

I personally think the Southland needs to put a greater emphasis on basketball.  I think the SLC's lack of emphasis in one of ORU's main sports was probably a deciding factor in the Golden Eagles move back to the Summit.  According to the Department of Education OPE Equity in Athletics database, the Summit has 5 programs with expenditures over $1,000,000 in basketball while the Southland has three (excluding ORU).  As a member of the SLC, ORU had the highest expenditure in basketball by far...around $1,000,000 more than the next highest spender, TAMU-CC.  My university was close behind TAMU-CC.

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Old Titan

However, the Southland as a conference is a complete joke basically going nowhere fast. Thank God we are out of it.

 

 

Perhaps I was not clear enough in my last post. For any AD considering a move to the Southland they should first put down the crack bowl, and then back away from the liquor cabinet.

 

Is this some sort of joke?

 

If not, it's ridiculous.

 

Simply put, with the possible exception of the middle-of-the-pack teams in men's basketball, the Southland was/is better IN EVERY SPORT than the Summit League.  Not even close, especially in women's sports and non-revenue sports.  Golf, tennis, track and field - ORU was not even competitive in these sports in the Southland, and they used to win them all the time in the Summit.

 

MAYBE volleyball and cross country is stronger in the Summit, but otherwise, no comparison.

 

Case in point:  ORU'S BASEBALL TEAM THAT FINISHED NINTH IN THE SOUTHLAND MIGHT HAVE WON THE SUMMIT LEAGUE.

 

Don't think for a minute that ORU's return to the Summit League was not in part inspired by the wish to once again compete for conference championships in all sports.  Was not about to happen any time soon in the Southland.

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rabbit74

At least in Basketball, the Summit was ranked the 17th best conference by Realtimerpi and the 20th best for Women,  The Southland was ranked number 27 for both men and women. The Massey's composite of 45 ranking systems had the Summit men's  basketball ranked 16th and the Southland 28th.  

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Old Titan

Was not trying to disparage the Summit League.  Just trying to establish that anyone who thinks ORU's frustration in the Southland was simply due to their own shortcomings, is not giving the Southland enought credit.  In almost every sport, it was a combination of BOTH factors:  ORU fielding less competitive teams than in their Summit League days, AND facing stronger competition day-in-and-day-out in every sport in the Southland.

 

As for the basketball RPI disparity between the two leagues, that is an anomaly caused by the number of schools in the respective leagues, as opposed to the quality of play (particularly at the top) in either conference.  Specifically, the large number of bottom-feeders in the Southland pulled down their league RPI, while the small total number of schools in the Summit allowed the better RPI's of its top teams to prop up the league RPI as a whole. 

 

After closely following both leagues all season long, here's how I would rank their top men's basketball teams from 2013-2014, using the "eye test" instead of RPI:

 

1.  Stephen F. Austin (Southland)

2.  North Dakota State (Summit)

3.  Fort Wayne (Summit)

4.  Texas A&M - Corpus Christi (Southland)

5.  Sam Houston State (Southland)

6.  South Dakota State (Summit)

7.  Northwestern State (Southland)

8.  Denver (Summit) 

9.  Oral Roberts (Southland)

10. Incarnate Word (Southland)

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ManiacAlum

I actually believe Southland officials thought they WERE trying to add some emphasis on basketball in the league. And they did that by adding ORU and a bunch of basketball playing transitionals. With membership movement in both leagues, there isnt the major difference in travel that was perceived before the move.

Also, wasn't the sample size too small to judge whether the move could have been a success? ORU was going to be rebuilding in basketball in either league, and baseball was moving into the post-Walton era.

I grew up in Southland country (next door to Beaumont), but am ok with saying that I was wrong and prefer the move back to the Summit. No one down there is going to start caring about basketball any time soon. Let's take the automatic bid in baseball and move on.

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Old Titan

Here's my take, FWIW:

 

1.  I was glad ORU went to the Southland when it did.  The Summit appeared to be on the brink of extinction, with Oakland looking to bolt, UMKC and Southern Utah already headed out the door, and The Dakota States flirting with The Valley and other mid-major leagues.  The league was contemplating adding the likes of Kentucky State, Mankato State, and SIU-Edwardsville to survive.  Moving to a more-stable league in Texas and Louisiana just seemed to make sense at the time.  That is, until the Southland did a D-II dip of their own by adding Abilene Christian, Incarnate Word, Houston Baptist, and New Orleans.

 

2.  Upon arrival, I was surprised at the level of athleticism in ALL sports in the Southland.  No one nationally realizes that they play a good brand of basketball down there, with particularly tough guard play.  The problem is that most (all?) of the schools play regional non-conference games, (which are ignored by the local media in those football-crazy states at that time of year), then spend January and February beating each other up in conference play, resulting in ravaged RPI's and poor NCAA seeds.  And in the spring sports such as baseball, tennis, golf, and track, Southland schools have the advantage of signing tough Southern kids who, thanks to the climate,  have played their respective sports year-round since they were tykes.

 

3.  I was also stunned to learn that, despite previous assertions, the travel distances in the Southland were similar to those in the Summit.  In many cases, the travel was actually more arduous due to bussing so far to many sites without major airports nearby.  Case in point:  Tulsa is only 50 miles closer to Katy, TX (home of the Southland basketball tournament) than it is to Sioux Falls, SD (where the Summit League basketball tournament is entrenched).  The supposed cost savings for travel by switching from the Summit to the Southland was a myth.  The only travel benefit was avoiding hazardous weather conditions during the winter sports, but that was about it.

 

4.  I was impressed that the Summit League was able to land Denver while shoring up the relationship with The Dakota States (adding the University of South Dakota helped in that regard).  It didn't hurt that the last two years the league had quality teams at the top in their marquee sport (men's basketball) to draw national attention.  Omaha and South Dakota have also proven they are up to the task in building quality programs (but frankly, the jury is still out on IUPUI - they have slipped).

 

5.  I do not blame ORU for going back to the Summit.  Tom Douple made ORU a sweetheart of a deal to return, and it just makes more sense from a competitive standpoint, especially in the spring sports where ORU was overwhelmed in the Southland.

 

6.  Given all the factors mentioned, I don't have a problem with ORU returning to the Summit.  Am I glad?  Not particularly, but not because I have any animosity toward the Summit - I will enjoy renewing the old rivalries, and I expect ORU will become instantly competitive again in several sports.  I just would have liked to see how ORU might have fared over time in the Southland with better teams on the court/field.  The question, though, was whether ORU was going to be able to recruit the kind of athletes necessary to compete in the Southland if the Golden Eagles kept performing so poorly in conference play.  It's probably for the best that the switch was made, if for no other reason than to stop the bleeding from Southland play.

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ORUJason

I agree with most of the thoughts from Maniac Alum and Old Titan.  When ORU was considering moving to the Southland, there was a long thread dealing with the perceived cost savings from travel in the Southland.  I knew at the time that the travel cost savings would be negligible.  

Definitely the Southland does not get the respect they deserve for the level of play that they demonstrate in several sports.  There are a lot of athletes in the Southland, but the coaching may not be up to snuff at some of the schools to be able to fully take advantage of that athleticism.  When they are able to combine their athleticism with good coaching, you get a team like Northwestern State, that is a threat to win a game or two in the NCAA tournament.  Steven F. Austin didn't have the athleticism of NW State, but they had superb coaching, and I liken them to NDSU which has also maximized the talent of their roster through great coaching.

 

For the most part, I see the Summit League and the Southland as comparable in most sports.  Recently, the Summit was stronger in men's basketball because they shed some RPI drag teams while the Southland added several RPI drag teams to the conference.  However, any argument that the Summit would be comparable to the Southland in baseball is a complete joke.  The Summit may be improving in baseball, but the Southland is light years ahead in the quality of baseball play from top to bottom.

 

The Southland's problem seems to be that even though they have talent in several sports, they seem to choke when they play the "big boys."  I have no idea how the Southland baseball teams didn't have a lot more wins against big time baseball programs.  They had some, but not as many as they should have for the quality of play league-wide.

 

We may be surprised when we return to the Summit that the quality of play may also have improved in the Summit as well, and with the exception of baseball, it may be more of a challenge to remain in the Top 3 of most of the sports as we had done fairly consistently in the past.

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rabbit74

No question, the Southland is stronger in baseball. The longer winters here limit preparation time as well as the amount of experience young people get growing up. However, SDSU should become significantly stronger over the next few years.  We are completing an indoor practice facility for all outside sports making it possible for the baseball team to practice before the start of the season as well as being a recruiting tool.  It is a $35,000,000 facility, and said to be the largest of its  type in the NCAA.  The Jacks have their first two players ever playing in the majors, pitchers Thielbar and Trenin. In addition, Omaha has a strong baseball program, a tradition probably partly related to the fact that Omaha is host to the College World Series.    Omaha has won the regular season title the last two years but won't be eligible for post season for another year or two.  So you will see an improved level of competition, i believe.

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ORUalum

ok, everytime i look at this thread title, only one thing comes to mind....

 

 

Coach Sutton as Mr Kotter and the "names have all changed since you hung around" (lots of new coaches in the Summit)

 

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ORU82

Was I over-the-top in my comments above?  Yes.  As I stated above, the Southland did have some very good athletes and schools.  However, overall as a conference they are about as low as you can get in D-I athletics.  I do not hate the Southland and actually feel sorry for teams that are stuck in that conference because I see it going nowhere.  There are too many former D-II and FCS/I-AA teams who either do not have or will not commit the resources to move the conference up the food chain.  Our main programs were and will remain both MBB and WBB and Men's Baseball.  That is not to diminish the other sports programs at ORU.  The Southland is not and for the foreseeable future will not be a basketball conference.  Further, take a look at the commitment schools like the Dakota schools, UNO, Denver and even IUPUI have put into upgrading facilities and you will see a vast chasm between schools in the Southland and schools in the Summit.  There is no guarantee that just because you spend millions on upgrading your facilities that you will automatically become a powerhouse, but if you are willing to commit millions in resources to get better facilities, it shows me you are headed in the right direction and at least are making an attempt to improve not only your school but the conference as well.  Sorry, but I do not see ACU, IWU, Houston Baptist, UNO or a lot of the other schools in the Southland making that commitment.  Finally, if I were an AD at an established D-I university, the Southland is the last place I would look to park my school's athletic teams.  I would be looking for a conference/league where the member schools are showing a commitment in actual dollars to try and improve what they have.  The Summit may not be the final solution for ORU, but in my humble opinion it is a move in the right direction.  Oh and by the way, in both MBB and baseball no Southland team blew us off the court/field.  As a matter of fact, we exhibited a talent for blowing leads and giving away games.

 

GO GOLDEN EAGLES! 

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LUSportsFan

Was I over-the-top in my comments above?  Yes.  As I stated above, the Southland did have some very good athletes and schools.  However, overall as a conference they are about as low as you can get in D-I athletics.  I do not hate the Southland and actually feel sorry for teams that are stuck in that conference because I see it going nowhere.  There are too many former D-II and FCS/I-AA teams who either do not have or will not commit the resources to move the conference up the food chain.  Our main programs were and will remain both MBB and WBB and Men's Baseball.  That is not to diminish the other sports programs at ORU.  The Southland is not and for the foreseeable future will not be a basketball conference.  Further, take a look at the commitment schools like the Dakota schools, UNO, Denver and even IUPUI have put into upgrading facilities and you will see a vast chasm between schools in the Southland and schools in the Summit.  There is no guarantee that just because you spend millions on upgrading your facilities that you will automatically become a powerhouse, but if you are willing to commit millions in resources to get better facilities, it shows me you are headed in the right direction and at least are making an attempt to improve not only your school but the conference as well.  Sorry, but I do not see ACU, IWU, Houston Baptist, UNO or a lot of the other schools in the Southland making that commitment.  Finally, if I were an AD at an established D-I university, the Southland is the last place I would look to park my school's athletic teams.  I would be looking for a conference/league where the member schools are showing a commitment in actual dollars to try and improve what they have.  The Summit may not be the final solution for ORU, but in my humble opinion it is a move in the right direction.  Oh and by the way, in both MBB and baseball no Southland team blew us off the court/field.  As a matter of fact, we exhibited a talent for blowing leads and giving away games.

 

GO GOLDEN EAGLES! 

 

I think the emphasis in basketball is greater in the Summit League than the SLC.  I can see improvements in the Summit League in Baseball.  Oral Roberts has great facilities as do other universities in the Summit.

 

I also believe comments about SLC investment might be a little harsh.  Below are a few examples.

 

Houston Baptist University - Announced a $160,000,000 Investment.  Part of the plan is a new multipurpose arena which will be the new basketball home.

 

http://www.hbu.edu/About-HBU/The-Campus/The-Future-of-HBUs-Campus.aspx

 

More details here starting on page 20-21 (page 11 of the pdf file):  http://www.hbu.edu/HBU/media/HBU/publications/hbunews/NewsV-50_N2_09-2013.pdf

 

"...A new basketball arena will anchor the space, providing

the only entertainment venue in Houston that can cater

to audiences of 3,000 to 5,000. This distinction will enable

the University to lease the facility for a variety of concerts,

conventions and other public events... (Excerpt from Page 22)

 

University of New Orleans - Basketball - 10,000 seat on campus basketball arena - Lakefront Arena, home of the 1991 NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four and home of the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Basketball tournament.

 

Link to arena website:  http://arena.uno.edu/building_info_overview.aspx

 

 

Baseball - Maestri Field - $3,000,000 renovation in 2013  http://www.uno.edu/news/2013/SignsofProgressVisibleatSiteofUNOsMaestriFieldRenovationProject.aspx

                                                            and http://www.uno.edu/news/2013/UniversityofNewOrleansCelebratesRenovationsatMaestriField.aspx

 

Abilene Christian University - Recently received $55 Million from three donors toward $75 million academic and athletic facilities fund raising campaign.  A portion of the money will be used to build a new track and soccer stadium in addition to a new on campus football stadium.

 

Link to "Vision in Action" fund raising campaign (Track & Field/Soccer Stadium page):  http://www.acu.edu/via/soccer.html

 

University of Incarnate Word - I haven't seen any specific announcements for UIW.  There are plans for enhancements, but they made end up using off-campus facilities for some of their athletics like UTSA is doing.

 

Others

 

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi - Completed construction in a $9.6 Million New Track and Field / Soccer Stadium last year.

 

Link to Stadium website:  http://www.tamucc.edu/marcom/stadium/index.html

 

Basketball - Off-campus Arena - American Bank Center -  http://americanbankcenter.com/info/history/

Baseball - Off-Campus Field - Whataburger Field and other TAMU-CC Facilities - http://goislanders.com/information/facilities/index

 

Sam Houston State

 

Baseball - Sanders Stadium opened in 2006 - http://www.gobearkats.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&&DB_OEM_ID=19900&ATCLID=1275332

Basketball - Johnson Coliseum - Four years younger than the Mabee Center - http://www.gobearkats.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=19900&ATCLID=1275315

 

There are some others also.  For example, my university just completed a five year campaign raising $132,000,000.  The original goal was $100,000,000.  Of that amount over $20,000,000 was spent on athletics as part of over $60,000,000 in athletic improvements over the last five years.  We have a new on-campus softball stadium that will be built this year.  Also, coming up is $5,500,000 in renovations to our baseball stadium.  Central Arkansas built a new baseball stadium opening in 2009.  They have made improvements to other athletics facilities also.

 

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rabbit74

Below is a link to some pictures of SDSU's $32 million indoor practice facility that is scheduled to open this fall (Oct, I think).  It will serve all of the outdoor sports as a place to practice during the winter when weather prevents that up here.  It should be especially beneficial for baseball, softball, track (we will be hosting a number of indoor track meets this year, a first for us) soccer and of course football.  Hopefully it will move us to a more competitive position with ORU in baseball and other sports.

 

https://twitter.com/leonmcostello

 

look at post on July 15.

 

The link below is to some artist renderings and videos.

 

http://sdsudevelopingchampions.com/facility

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ORUalum

impressive facility rabbit74.  i'm sure the coaches are happy.  the Dakota schools sure are investing bigtime in athletics.

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Hammersmith

You probably all know that NDSU is spending about $41 million to gut and rebuild the BSA(our primary athletic building and basketball home). You may not know we are putting a bubble this fall over one of our outdoor football practice fields/soccer competition field. It should be a good help for baseball and softball.

 

 

Here's the first of a series of monthly videos that NDSU will be making about the BSA construction progress(still in the demo and foundation phase):

http://t.co/lHzLHuPRME

Besides the bubble over Dacotah Field, other minor improvements have been going on. While you guys were in the Southland, we moved soccer from the track complex over to our old football stadium. Only weird thing is that the field has been shifted west twice since the original stands were built(the most recent time as prep for the BSA rebuild). That means the seating is now significantly off-center. Some before and after photos(we really let the place go after FB moved to the Fargodome):

attachment_zps64139c92.jpg

attachment2_zps50b152b4.jpg

Finally, we built a new indoor track & field facility while you were gone(or maybe it was already under construction as you were leaving). Nothing super exotic, but it's nice that they've got their own home now.

small_ElligIndoorTrack2013FloorPanFromSo

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rabbit74

I didn't mention our new football stadium that will begin construction this fall since ORU doesn't play football, but I have to keep up with Hammersmith in the bragging rights.  :)   Here is a link to information about the $65 million facility.

 

http://danajdykhousestadium.com

 

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