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Oral Roberts headed back to the Summit League in 2014

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Throughout the history of collegiate athletics there have been instances of schools moving from one conference to another, only to return to their original conference shortly thereafter. This had not happened in the recent wave of conference realignment, but that changed on Thursday as Oral Roberts announced that it will return to the Summit League in 2014.

ORU was a member of the Summit League for 15 seasons, from 1997 to 2012, before deciding to make the move to the Southland Conference with the idea being that the new home would help lower travel costs. But with the Southland growing to 14 members (and adding more football-playing members, a sport ORU doesn’t have), the powers that be at ORU felt that their goals regarding travel and cultivating new rivalries would be tougher to reach. Hence the move back to the Summit League, where their men’s soccer program has remained a member for the last two years.

“ORU is excited about returning to The Summit League and its distinguished member institutions,” ORU Director of Athletics Mike Carter said in the Summit League release. “We look forward to renewing the rivalries we developed during our 15 years in the conference and to continuing the proud tradition of The Summit League.”

ORU will join a conference that has some solid basketball programs in 2014. Denver made the move over from the WAC in July, joining solid programs such as North Dakota State and South Dakota State. In total the Summit League has eight members (IPFW, IUPUI, Omaha, South Dakota and Western Illinois being the other five), and in theory the return of ORU would mean a 16-game, true round-robin conference schedule.

During the school’s time in the Summit League ORU won six conference titles, including three straight from 2006-08.

Mountain West admits official error, won’t change result of Boise State-Colorado State

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After reviewing video for a second straight day, the Mountain West has determined that Boise State should have beaten Colorado State on Wednesday night, but that due to an NCAA rule the outcome of the game cannot be changed.

Boise State’s James Webb III hit a one-handed, banked-in three at the end of overtime in Colorado State’s Moby Arena, breaking an 84-all tie, but after officials reviewed the play on the video monitor, they waived off the basket. Webb got the shot off in time, but the clock operator did not start the clock on time. After using stopwatch technology embedded in the video monitor, the referees determined that it took 1.3 seconds from the time that Webb caught the pass until the time that he got the shot off.

There were 0.8 seconds left when Boise State took the ball out of bounds.

On Thursday, the league announced that the referees followed the correct protocol to make the call.

They released a video that the referees used to make the decision, but upon further analysis — and amid a push on social media — it was determined that there was a difference between the “rate at which the embedded digital stopwatch advanced and the rate at which the game clock regressed during the instant replay review.”

In other words, the referees made the correct call with the evidence they had available, but the conference provided them with flawed evidence.

Boise State lost 97-93 in double-overtime.

The loss came four days after officials botched a call at the end of San Diego State’s win over New Mexico.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.