Doyle Radke, Minot
I believe the decision to join the NCAA-Division II-Northern Sun Conference wasn't the smartest thing to do. First, the competition is too strong for Minot State to compete against the better teams and more importantly, it requires a lot of money for MSU to travel, house and feed athletes and coaches. Division II requires an awful lot of travel. I'm sure the coaches at Minot State feel that to be competitive, they need to go South to prepare for the upcoming spring season and this is very expensive.
I would guess the goal of all the Minot State coaches would be to get their teams to the very top in their conference and go to nationals, but if these coaches have to provide a lot of funding for travel and preseason practice, that might be asking too much of them.
Chipper Farrell is the second highly qualified coach that decided to resign because of not having enough financial support for their sport. In Chipper's case, he has gone the extra mile for his athletes. Along with helping fund raise these past years, he would also find free lodging and free golfing down in the Phoenix area for his golfers, so each golfer wouldn't have to pay these extra expenses and would be better prepared for the upcoming outdoor season. They have enough to pay for with increasing college expenses.
We all know how hard it is to fund raise money in Minot with the various sports looking for financial help plus the flood recovery of our city and the increasing demands on taxpayers. It's asking a lot of the people and businesses of Minot to help fund the traveling expenses of MSU sports.
Also, it would be very nice if more North Dakota students could further their education and athletic careers at MSU. As it is now, MSU is trying to get students and athletes from all over the world. The athletes from small town North Dakota no longer get the chance to compete because the Northern Sun Conference requires a much better athlete (supposedly) than we have in North Dakota.
Maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't be in the Division II - Northern Sun Conference if we cannot afford to fund these programs. Just maybe we got the cart ahead of the horse and jumped into this new conference. If Minot State University is not big enough to take athletes on the road and provide for their food, lodging and travel, maybe the administration should have decided to stay in the Dakota Conference. Sometimes it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than a little fish in a big pond.