Re: Xavier Basketball
VMI is 174, and this is probably their best team ever. 174 is their HIGH water mark.
Fordham is terrible (I wish they were not in the A-14), and I bet they are better than VMI 8 out of 10 years. And even if you stretch and say their programs are even, Fordham is one of the premier academic institutions in the country and is in NYC. You can at least leverage some recruiting out of that (Xavier is recruiting that area heavily recently). VMI is in the middle of nowhere.
GW is terrible this year, but a couple of years ago they were something like 27-3 and ranked in the top 15. St. Bonaventure had a recruiting scandal that landed them in hot water, but they've got a passionate fanbase, and prior to that scandal had been a consistently pretty decent program (I recall them losing in OT to Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament less than 10 years ago).
Three other teams you want Xavier to part with (UMass, SJU and URI) have been significantly better than Bradley or VMI. UMass was in the Final Four in '96, and though they have not done a ton since, they are generally respectable (they're pretty bad this year despite beating Kansas in KC). SJU was the #1 team in the country for most of '04. They're an NCAA bubble team right now (and most years). URI was in the top 25 for a good part of last year and has a fantastic basically new facility in Kingston. They, too, were looking like an NCAA team until they stumbled early in conference play (they choked down the stretch at Duke, too). Plus, all three of these schools are in the Northeast, where Xavier has decided it is important for them to be from a recruiting standpoint.
Your league is better this year, and I'd take a league with DePaul, Seton Hall and Providence in a heartbeat, but I don't see Bradley and VMI adding more than St. Bonaventure and Fordham, respectively, in the long haul, and neither are geographically where Xavier wants to be.