In a saga that will not be remembered fondly of Eastern Michigan's top brass or that of head coach Chris Creighton, the Eagles released a statement Tuesday saying the program has no plans to drop football or move to another division.
Full text below:
In the past several days, there has been considerable media coverage of reports that indicate that Eastern Michigan University is considering eliminating football, or reducing support for football by dropping down to a lower division of the NCAA and by dropping out of the Mid-American Conference. These reports are not based on any solid factual information. We have absolutely no plans to eliminate football or move into any other division or conference.
We are pleased to be a member of an outstanding conference, the Mid-American Conference, where all of our sports and our talented student athletes have the opportunity to compete at the highest levels with neighboring institutions in the Midwest. Any headlines or claims that Eastern is considering dropping football, or reducing our support of the program in any way, are false.
We are 100 percent supportive of our current Athletics administration, particularly Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Heather Lyke. She has assembled an outstanding support team and we already have seen positive results in terms of continuing Eastern's championship traditions in a number of our sports, as well as in many new initiatives to increase revenues. As an example, year-to-date, fundraising has increased by nearly $430,000.
Two-and-a-half years ago, she hired an outstanding football coach in Chris Creighton. Now entering his third year and with the majority of the team now made up of his recruits, we believe the best is ahead in terms of on the field and academic performance. We believe very strongly in Coach Creighton and his efforts to rebuild the program.
We want to collectively reiterate that any notion, suggestion, or headline that in any way suggests Eastern is considering eliminating football or moving into another conference or division, is absolutely false. We will remain proud members of the Mid-American Conference football family for a long, long time.
Interim President Donald Loppnow
President-Elect James Smith
Mike Morris, Chair, EMU Board of Regents
Mary Treder Lang, Vice Chair, EMU Board of Regents
Michael Hawks, Chair, Athletic Affairs Committee, EMU Board of Regents
Dennis Beagen, EMU Board of Regents
Michelle Crumm, EMU Board of Regents
Beth Fitzsimmons, EMU Board of Regents
James Stapleton, EMU Board of Regents
James Webb, EMU Board of Regents
This is essentially EMU brass saying "you'll have to take our MAC membership from our cold, dead hands."