ATLANTA (May 12, 2023) – Prior to Western Illinois University’s announcement today on their move to the Ohio Valley Conference for all sports, WIU had retained Collegiate Consulting to complete a comprehensive Conference Membership Study in support of their internal discussions.
The 55-page study focused on assessing sports sponsorship, travel considerations, conference competitiveness, institutional alignment, line-item athletic expenses (scholarships, operating budgets, staffing) and external sources of revenue. Collegiate Consulting also analyzed divisional alignment and potential scheduling options as part of their study.
The study ascertained, WIU was in alignment to the OVC with regard to institutional fit, sports sponsorship, geography/travel and athletic financial aid. Operating budgets for the men’s program were in the top-third when compared to the OVC, however, 7-of-9 women’s programs fell below the OVC average. In addition, Collegiate Consulting compared WIU’s football expenses in the Missouri Valley Football Conference to the OVC. The study illustrated WIU’s alignment with the majority of the OVC expense metric comparisons.
Collegiate Consulting has previous experience with OVC institutions, having conducted a Division I Feasibility Study (2008) and Revenue Analysis (2012) for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Operational Assessment (2015) and Hockey Feasibility Study (2018) for Lindenwood University and Financial Benchmarking Reports for Eastern Illinois; Morehead State; SEMO; Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State in the past decade. In addition, to the previously reference projects, Collegiate Consulting is currently working on four conference realignment studies.