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Lawrence (Moon) Mullins

Mullins was athletic director at Marquette from 1956 to 1961. He was an early advocate of conference affiliation and pushed hard for it, prior to the dissolution of Marquette's football program. His reasons for conference affiliation were as follows-

1. Marquette would be able to schedule better opponents. At the time, MU was following Big Ten conference rules quite closely. As a member of a conference, MU would have to adhere to conference standards. This means a school could not refuse to schedule MU because of our athletic standards, without rejecting the entire conference

2. Conference rules and regulations are standard and MU's adherence to those standards would give MU a definite pattern of operation.

3. There would be much more sustained interest in MU's athletic program if they were a member of a conference. The effect of a school being ranked weekly in standings makes every game more interesting, because of the possibility of strengthening or bettering the team's ratings.

4. Each conference has a publicity setup, which would result in Marquette box scores and stories appearing in newspapers throughout the country. For example, if MU joined the Missouri Valley Conference, they would receive continuous publicity in large areas surrounding member schools, who (at the time) include Houston, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Tulsa, Bradley, Drake, Wichita, and Oklahoma A&M. Metropolitan dailies would also give MU weekly attention, because of a conference race.

5. Travel would not be a concern. As an independent, Marquette had to travel great distances to meet opponents of a suitable caliber.

6. If MU were to join an athletic conference, they would still have opportunities to schedule many outstanding teams from outside the conference. An example would be the Missouri Valley Conference, once again, because MU would not have to play more than five conference games.

Mullins stressed that his goal for Marquette in the field of athletics was to be, “bigtime in every other respect.” Educationally, he felt Marquette was second to no school in the country. Mullins also discounted critics who claimed home attendance difficulties could be attributed to Milwaukee being a “bad sports town.”

“I don't feel that Milwaukee is a bad sports town. It's no different from any other city, because no community will support a team that is consistently a loser. However, give a city a consistent winner and the collegiate enthusiasm will spread like wildfire. The Braves have been consistent winners in the national baseball league and what city can match Milwaukee's phenomenal support of their heros? An important factore here at Marquette, which many fail to recognize as an important inducement to athletes, is tour rapidly improving situation,” said Mullins.

“When parents of athletes see the new men's dormitory (Schroeder?) and realize that it will be the home of their sons, they will want to see him attending Marquette. In addition, we have developed a fair and sound scholarship program. A school cannot be first-class on the 50-yard line Saturday afternoons, if the school is not first-class throughout all it's other activities. Marquette is first-class in all of it's other activities.”


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