Lone Star Conference denies sending email breaking Tarleton Division One news
Makenzie Plusnick– Editor-in-Chief & Samuel P. Tucker– Sports Writer
Tarleton students received unexpected news Monday afternoon when Jeremy Bryant, voice of Angelo State Athletics, announced that Tarleton received a Division One invitation from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
Tarleton released a statement to media at 10:16 p.m. before posting the announcement to social media at 10:18 p.m. on Sept. 30. Tarleton President James Hurley sent an email to students at 8:19 am on Oct. 1 about the invitation.
“The WAC didn’t break it, we didn’t break it, it came from the Lone Star Conference because they are upset we are leaving,” Hurley said. “They are losing their flagship institution, and what’s going to happen is there are more institutions…that want to go with us, really good institutions. I think they are starting to panic a little.”
Hurley said the announcement from the Lone Star Conference (LSC) and Bryant was unexpected.
“I thought it was very unprofessional. They put me in a position where I had to react very quickly, and I was literally up until midnight in the Trogdon House. Lonn [Reisman] was in my home, our communications team was in our home. I had to call those folks back from home… back to work,” Hurley explained.
Lonn Reisman, Tarleton Athletic Director, added, “It was very unfair.”
Hurley confirmed on Tuesday that Tarleton was not going to make an announcement until later in the week.
“We weren’t going to do that until Wednesday,” Hurley said.
Reisman declined to comment on why he thought Bryant decided to announce the invitation.
“I don’t want to comment, I can’t talk for them,” Reisman said.
Bryant found out about the invitation in an email from the Lone Star Conference.
“I had some sources; there were some emails going out,” he explained. “There was an email sent out by the Lone Star Conference.”
“When I said it, when I heard there was an email out… I just assumed some people already knew. I didn’t know there was a formal announcement coming out,” Bryant said.
LSC Assistant Commissioner for Media Relations Melanie Robotham declined to comment about Tarleton’s invitation to join the WAC.
“At this time we aren’t doing any comments,” Robotham said.
Robotham stated that LSC did not send out an email to member schools on Monday, Sept. 30.
“The only thing that was sent out was on our website and that was sent Oct. 1,” she said.
Ryan Cox, assistant sports information director for media relations at Tarleton, confirmed the LSC sent out an email on Monday about Tarleton withdrawing from the conference to go Division One.
West Texas A&M and Texas A&M University-Commerce confirmed they received emails from the LSC on Monday about Tarleton withdrawing from the conference and converting to Division One.
KLST, a news station in San Angelo, confirmed that one of their reporters received confirmation from the LSC on Monday about Tarleton withdrawing from the conference to go Division One.
Danielle Anderson, Assistant Commissioner of Compliance and Internal Operations for the LSC, declined to comment about different schools confirming the LSC sent an email about Tarleton withdrawing from the conference to join the WAC on Monday. They also chose not to comment on reporters confirming with Texan News that the LSC spoke with them about Tarleton on Monday.
The email, provided by an anonymous source, was sent to the LSC Council of Presidents and LSC Council of Athletics Administrators on Monday, Sept. 30 at 3:38 p.m. and 3:58 p.m. respectively.
The Tarleton Texans will play the Angelo State Rams Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville.