Q&A about the Southland Conference
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Sunday, July 15, 2012
7/15/12 at 6:08 AM
Proximity matters a lot for ORU in move to Southland
Southland Conference school profiles
Oral Roberts University became the newest member of the Southland Conference on July 1.
Don't know much, if anything, about the Southland Conference?
Here's a one-question-at-a-time introduction:
Where is the Southland Conference?
The league is headquartered in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas. Its members are sprinkled across Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and, now, Oklahoma.
Who's in the Southland?
During the 2012-13 academic year, ORU will share a league with Central Arkansas, Lamar, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Northwestern State (La.), Sam Houston State, Southeastern Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Houston Baptist will come aboard the following academic year, and the league is considering new members. The pool of candidates includes Abilene Christian, Incarnate Word and New Orleans.
Has anybody from a Southland school ever reached the big time?
Scottie Pippen won six NBA titles and was a Dream Teamer. Joe Dumars helped the Detroit Pistons to two NBA championships during his playing career, then built a title team as a Pistons executive. Jackie Smith is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Joe Delaney is in the College Football Hall of Fame and should be in the real-life hero hall of fame. The former Kansas City Chiefs running back died in 1983 while trying to rescue three children from drowning.
Anybody else make news?
Sure. But just as impressive are Southland alums who reported the news. Dan Rather is a graduate of Sam Houston State. Robin Roberts is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana, where she played basketball from 1979-83.
What about the Southland's history?
The Southland was formed after representatives from five schools met in Dallas in 1963. (ORU was founded the same year). The Southland was originally an NAIA league and now is one of 32 Division I basketball conferences.
The league sponsors championships in 17 sports and Oral Roberts will compete in 15 of them.
The Golden Eagles don't play football, but other Southland schools compete very well at the FCS level, formerly known as Division I-AA. Sam Houston State was the FCS runner-up last season.
The Southland is one of three FCS leagues with more than 200 NFL draftees. Two dozen former Southland players have won Super Bowls. Among former Southland student-athletes who became Division I or NFL head coaches are Spike Dykes, R.C. Slocum and Bum Phillips.
What's the Southland's Hollywood connection?
Check out info capsules on Southland schools for details, but Southland alums and communities spawned movies (including "Steel Magnolias," "Dazed and Confused," and "Silkwood") and a television series.
The first season of the Carroll O'Connor TV series "In the Heat of the Night" was filmed in Hammond, La., where Southeastern Louisiana is located.
In that respect, the Southland Conference once was Archie Bunker's place. Now it's Oral Roberts' place.
Original Print Headline: Facts on ORU's new conference
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389