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Arkansas State Confirms Varsity Cup Move

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Arkansas State Confirms Varsity Cup Move

Akransas State University Head Coach Mani Delaibatiki has confirmed that the Red Wolves will play their postseason in the Varsity Cup in 2015.

ASU has been part of DIA since its inception, losing the 2012 final to BYU in a 49-42 thriller at Rio Tinto Stadium. But in 2013 BYU and Cal started their own postseason competition, a single-elimination competition that also included several other major college programs.

The reasons, said Delaibatiki, were about exposure.

"We've been in DIA playoffs the last couple of years and the school was taking a little bit of a different approach," siad the ASU coach. "The question they raised was, how come you guys aren't in this? They have exposure on NBC, and DIA is only streamed. They said if the competition you're in now does a better job at marketing our school's brand, then stay, but they felt the Varsity Cup is doing a better job marketing the brand of the schools."

That's a crucial piece of the puzzle, because Arkansas State University funds the rugby team mainly because it provides exposure for the school and encourages a more diverse application pool. 

ASU is slated to keep playing Life, Davenport, and, likely, Lindenwood. They want to stay in a Mid-South conference, but it's not clear whether the DIA leadership will sanction Arkansas State being in the conference when they say they won't participate in the post-season.

"The decision came from the school, and a big part of it was letting the guys know and asking if it was something they wanted to do, and the team was all-in," said Delaibatiki, who also stressed that the move is for 2015, with no commitment further than that. ASU is testing out this decision.