Athletic realignment to potentially affect admissions on campus

Officials said it is too early to speculate.
Thousands of freshmen dash through the columns Aug. 20 on David R. Francis Quadrangle. Officials said it is too early to say what kind of implications the move to the SEC will have on future admissions. Maneater File Photo

With MU’s admittance to the Southeastern Conference, many have raised questions about how the move will affect the university.

Officials said it is too early to definitively say what kind of implications this will have on the future, but there has been some speculation regarding admissions and athletics.

Senior Associate Director of Admissions Chuck May said the move to the SEC will not cause a noticeable increase in student enrollment from the southeast corridor of the United States. He said the move would most likely not change how students are recruited in the near future.

“We will certainly reassess potential new markets on an annual basis,” he said. “We will investigate to see if there could be the potential for more recruitment activities in that area. We may look at Louisville, Kentucky and Atlanta, Georgia for possible new markets to break into in the future, starting small with mailings and possibly using alumni to attend college fairs.”

May said he is not concerned about losing potential students from Texas, which supplied more than 700 new students to MU in 2008. Texas is home to four Big 12 Conference schools.

“There is a possibility that we could lose some market share in Texas,” he said. “However, we have an established presence in the state with a strong alumni base in Dallas and Houston. We plan to continue to heavily visit high schools in Texas, attend college fairs and send direct mail to prospective students there.”

Athletics Department spokesman Chad Moller said in regards to athletics, the recruiting for each sport has its own dynamics. Moller said bringing in more student-athletes from the southeast portion of the U.S. is a strong possibility.

“Each coaching staff will be dealing with the new landscape in their own ways,” he said. “We're absolutely confident that our future association with the SEC will be a benefit to our coaches in a number of ways, and certainly recruiting is one of those key elements.”

Moller also said that the increase in student-athletes from the southeast might potentially be a trend present throughout the student body.

“I think it also won't be limited to student-athletes,” he said. “Remember that this is the entire University of Missouri that is expanding its reach here, so there's a possibility that the general student population will have a greater pull from that region too.”

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