Editor’s note: This post has been updated as of Thursday, August 31, 2023. Note that this list only reflects changes in effect beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The latest updated list beginning with 2024-25 can be found here. A list of changes for the 2021-22 changes can be found here while the changes for the 2022-23 academic year can be found here. This article will continue to be updated if any additional changes impacting the 2023-24 academic year occur.
The calendar has shifted to July and with it is a new academic year. That means we can begin looking to the future for the changes happening for the next academic year in 2023-24. We will list the known changes for Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, and the NAIA below. This list will not include previous years’ changes from 2021-22, 2020-21, or earlier realignment moves.
If you are looking for a specific division and additional information, click here for Division 1, here for Division 2, here for Division 3, and here for NAIA. Clicking the new conference for the school in question (3rd column in the table) will take you directly to the day of the update, which will provide additional information. Tip for mobile users: you can scroll to the right to find additional columns shown in the table.
|Team||Old Conference||New Conference||First season in|
|Abilene Christian||WAC (D1)||UAC (D1)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|Alderson Broaddus||Mountain East (D2)||School Closing||2023-24||School Filed for Bankruptcy|
|Alliance University||CACC (D2)||School Closing||2023-24|
|Anderson University||SAC (D2)||SAC (D2)||2024-25||Starting football program|
|Arizona Christian||Sooner Athletic (NAIA)||Frontier (NAIA)||2023-24||Football only move|
|Arkansas-Fort Smith||Lone Star (D2)||MIAA (D2)||2024-25|
|Austin College||ASC (D3)||SCAC (D3)||2024-25||Football only move|
|Austin Peay||ASUN (D1)||UAC (D1)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|Baptist Bible College||Independent (NCCAA)||AMC (NAIA)||2024-25||Will apply to NAIA in 2023 and potentially join AMC in 2024|
|Barton||SAC (D2)||Conference Carolinas (D2)||2025-26||Football only move|
|Benedictine-Mesa||CalPac (NAIA)||GSAC (NAIA)||2024-25|
|Berea College||CCS (D3)||HCAC (D3)||2024-25|
|Bismarck State||N/A||North Star (NAIA)||TBD||2-Year college; will become 4 year college and join NAIA|
|Bloomfield College||CACC (D2)||TBD||2023-24||School Merging with Montclair State (D3)|
|Bluefield State||Independent (D2)||CIAA (D2)||2023-24|
|Bob Jones University||Independent (D3)||NCCAA||2023-24||No longer pursuing NCAA membership|
|Bryn Athyn College||CSAC (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|BYU||WCC / FBS Independent (D1)||Big 12 (D1)||2023-24|
|Cabrini University||Atlantic East (D3)||Being Sold to Villanova||2024-25|
|Cairn University||CSAC (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Calvin University||N/A||MIAA (D3)||2024-25||Adding football program|
|Campbell University||Big South (D1)||CAA (D1)||2023-24|
|Cardinal Stritch||CCAC (NAIA)||School Closing||2023-24|
|Carlow University||River States (NAIA) and USCAA||AMCC (D3)||2023-24|
|Castleton University||Little East (D3)||Little East (D3)|
Football: MASCAC (D3)
|Becoming part of Vermont State University|
|Catholic University||NEWMAC (D3)||Landmark (D3)||2023-24||Football only move|
|Cazenovia College||NAC (D3)||School Closing||2023-24|
|Cedar Crest College||CSAC (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Centenary College||N/A||SCAC (D3)||2024-25||Reviving football program|
|Central Arkansas||ASUN (D1)||UAC (D1)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|Charlotte||C-USA (D1)||AAC (D1)||2023-24|
|Chowan||CIAA (D2)||2023: Gulf South (D2) |
2025: Conference Carolinas (D2)
|2023-24||Football only move|
|Cincinnati||AAC (D1)||Big 12 (D1)||2023-24|
|Clarks Summit||CSAC (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|College of the Ozarks||NCCAA||Sooner Athletic (NAIA)||2024-25||Will remain in NCCAA for some sports|
|Concordia (TX)||ASC (D3)||SCAC (D3)||2024-25|
|Eastern Kentucky||ASUN (D1)||UAC (D1)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|Eastern Nazarene||NECC (D3)||NAC (D3)||2023-24|
|Eastern University||N/A||Middle Atlantic (D3)||2023-24||Added Club Football in 2022; will have full team in 2023|
|Embry-Riddle Arizona||CalPac (NAIA)||GSAC (NAIA)||2024-25|
|Erskine||SAC (D2)||2024: Gulf South (D2) |
2025: Conference Carolinas (D2)
|2024-25||Football only moves|
|Evangel University||HAAC (NAIA)||KCAC (NAIA)||2023-24|
|Finlandia||C2C (D3)||School Closing||2023-24|
|Florida Atlantic||C-USA (D1)||AAC (D1)||2023-24|
|Gallaudet||United East (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|George Washington||A-10 (D1)||A-10 (D1)||2023-24||Changing Nickname|
|Hartford||America East (D1)||CCC (D3)||2023-24||Officially began transition in 2022-23 academic year|
|Hilbert College||Independent (D3)||Empire 8 (D3)||2024-25||Football only move|
|Holy Names||PacWest (D2)||School Closing||2023-24||Closing after 2022-23 academic year|
|Houston||AAC (D1)||Big 12 (D1)||2023-24|
|Iowa Wesleyan||CAC (NAIA)||AMC (NAIA)||2023-24||Football and wrestling not going to AMC|
|Iowa Wesleyan||CAC (NAIA)||School Closing||2023-24|
|IUPUC||N/A||River States (NAIA)||2023-24||Was previously part of IUPUI|
|IUPUI||Horizon League (D1)||Horizon League (D1)||2024-25||Splitting into 2 campuses|
|Jacksonville State||ASUN (D1)||C-USA (D1)||2023-24|
|Jessup||GSAC (NAIA)||PacWest (D2)||2024-25|
|Johnson & Wales||GNAC (D3)||CCC (D3)||2024-25|
|Juniata||Centennial (D3)||Landmark (D3)||2023-24||Football only move|
|Kennesaw State||ASUN (D1)||C-USA (D1)||2024-25|
|Keystone College||ECFC (D3)||Landmark (D3)||2023-24||Football only move|
|Keystone College||CSAC (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Lamar University||WAC (D1)||Southland (D1)||2022-23||Originally planned to return to Southland in 2023-24|
|Lancaster Bible College||United East (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Le Moyne||NE-10 (D2)||NEC (D1)||2023-24|
|Lebanon Valley||MAC Commonwealth (D3)||MAC Freedom (D3)||2023-24|
|Lesley University||NECC (D3)||NAC (D3)||2023-24|
|Liberty||ASUN / FBS Independent (D1)||C-USA (D1)||2023-24|
|Lincoln University (Missouri)||MIAA (D2)||GLVC (D2)||2024-25|
|Lycoming College||MAC Freedom (D3)||Landmark (D3)||2023-24|
|Lyon College||AMC (NAIA)||SLIAC (D3) |
Football: SCAC (D3)
|Football will join SCAC in 2024|
|Maine Maritime||Football Dropped in 2020||CCC (D3)||2025-26||Bringing back football|
|McMurry University||ASC (D3)||SCAC (D3)||2024-25|
|Medaille University||Empire 8 (D3)||School Closing||2023-24||School Closing after merger called off|
|Menlo College||GSAC (NAIA)||PacWest (D2)||2024-25|
|Middle Georgia State||SSAC (NAIA)||Peach Belt (D2)||2025-26|
|Mills College||C2C (D3)||Merging with Northeastern||2023-24|
|Missouri Baptist||MSFA (NAIA||HAAC (NAIA)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|Mitchell College||NECC (D3)||GNAC (D3)||2023-24|
|Moravian||Centennial (D3)||Landmark (D3)||2023-24||Football only move|
|Murray State||OVC (D1)||MVFC (D1)||2023-24||Football only move|
|Nazareth University||Empire 8 (D3)||Empire 8 (D3)||2023-24||Name change only|
|New College of Florida||N/A||Sun Conference (NAIA)||TBD||Starting athletics program|
|New England College||NECC (D3)||GNAC (D3)||2023-24|
|New England College||N/A||TBD (D3)||2024-25||Adding Football|
|New Mexico State||WAC / FBS Independent (D1)||C-USA (D1)||2023-24|
|North Alabama||ASUN (D1)||UAC (D1)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|North American University||CAC (NAIA)||Red River (NAIA)|
Football: Sooner (NAIA)
|North Carolina A&T||Big South (D1)||CAA (D1)||2023-24||Football only move|
|North Greenville||Gulf South (D2)||Conference Carolinas (D2)||2025-26||Football only move|
|North Texas||C-USA (D1)||AAC (D1)||2023-24|
|Northern Vermont University - Johnson||NAC (D3)||NAC (D3)||2023-24||Becoming part of Vermont State University|
|Northern Vermont University - Lyndon||NAC (D3)||NAC (D3)||2023-24||Becoming part of Vermont State University|
|Notre Dame of Maryland||CSAC (D3)||New Conference (D3)|
|2023-24||CSAC and United East Merging Conferences|
|Ohio Christian||River States (NAIA)||NCCAA||2024-25||All sports will be in NCCAA|
|Oklahoma||Big 12 (D1)||SEC (D1)||2024-25|
|Park-Gilbert||CalPac (NAIA)||GSAC (NAIA)||2024-25|
|Penn College||United East (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Penn State Brandywine||PSUAC (USCAA)||TBD (D3)||2023-24||2023 will be exploratory year followed by 3 year provisional membership starting in 2024-25|
|Penn State-Abington||United East (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Penn State-Berks||United East (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Penn State-Harrisburg||United East (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Pikeville||Mid-South (NAIA)||Appalachian Athletic Conference (NAIA)||2023-24|
|Point University||Appalachian Athletic Conference (NAIA)||SSAC (NAIA)||2023-24|
|Post University||Independent (D2)||NE-10 (D2)||2024-25||Football-only move|
|Pratt Institute||C2C (D3)||Atlantic East (D3)||2024-25|
|Presentation College||North Star (NAIA)||School Closing||2023-24||School is closing after the 2022-23 academic year|
|Rice||C-USA (D1)||AAC (D1)||2023-24|
|Roanoke College||N/A||ODAC (D3)||2025-26||Adding Football|
|Roosevelt University||CCAC (NAIA)||GLIAC (D2)||2024-25|
|Rosemont College||CSAC (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Saint Elizabeth||CSAC (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Saint Katherine||CalPac (NAIA)||GSAC (NAIA)||2024-25|
|Salve Regina||CCC (D3)||NEWMAC (D3)||2023-24|
|Sam Houston State||WAC (D1)||C-USA (D1)||2023-24|
|San Diego Christian||GSAC (NAIA)||N/A (Suspending Athletics)||2023-24|
|Schreiner University||N/A||SCAC (D3)||2026-27||New football program with start date of 2025 or 2026|
|Shawnee State||Mid-South (NAIA)||River States (NAIA)||2023-24|
|Shorter University||Gulf South (D2)||Conference Carolinas (D2)||2024-25||Football to play in GSC 2023; D2 Independent 2024|
|Sierra Nevada University||CalPac (NAIA)||Became part of University of Nevada, Reno (D1)||Athletics TBD|
|Simon Fraser||Lone Star (D2)||Dropping football||2023-24||Football-only change|
|Simpson University||N/A||TBD (NAIA)||2024-25||Adding football program|
|Southern Utah||WAC (D1)||UAC (D1)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|Southwestern (TX)||ASC (D3)||SAA (D3)||2023-24|
All sports: 2025-26
|St. Francis (NY)||NEC (D1)||None - Dropping All Athletics||2023-24|
|St. Mary's of Maryland||United East (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Stanton Universtiy||N/A||TBD (NAIA)||2024-25||Starting athletics program|
|Stephen F. Austin||WAC (D1)||UAC (D1)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|Sul Ross State||ASC (D3)||Lone Star (D2)||2024-25|
|SUNY Maritime||ECFC (D3)||NEWMAC (D3)||2023-24||Football only move|
|SUNY Morrisville||United East (D3)||NAC (D3)||2023-24||Football TBD|
|Susquehanna||Centennial (D3)||Landmark (D3)||2023-24||Football only move|
|Talladega College||SSAC (NAIA)||SIAC (D2)||2023-24?|
|Tarleton State||WAC (D1)||UAC (D1)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|Tennessee Southern||Mid-South (NAIA)||SSAC (NAIA)||2023-24|
|Texas||Big 12 (D1)||SEC (D1)||2024-25|
|Texas Lutheran||ASC (D3)||SCAC (D3)||2026-27||Will move to SCAC no later than 2026 season|
|The University of Olivet||MIAA (D3)||MIAA (D3)||2023-24||Name change only|
|Thomas More||Mid-South (NAIA)||GMAC (D2)||2023-24|
|Thomas University||Sun Conference (NAIA)||SSAC (NAIA)||2023-24|
|Trinity (TX)||SCAC (D3)||SAA (D3)||2025-26|
|Trinity International||CCAC (NAIA)||N/A (Athletics ending)||2023-24||School moving to online courses|
|UAB||C-USA (D1)||AAC (D1)||2023-24|
|UCF||AAC (D1)||Big 12 (D1)||2023-24|
|UCLA||Pac-12 (D1)||Big Ten (D1)||2024-25|
|UNC Pembroke||Mountain East (D2)||Conference Carolinas (D2)||2025-26||Football only move|
|University of the Ozarks||ASC (D3)||SCAC (D3)||2024-25|
|University of the Virgin Islands||CAC (NAIA)||GCAC (NAIA)||2023-24|
|Upper Iowa University||NSIC (D2)||GLVC (D2)||2023-24|
|USC||Pac-12 (D1)||Big Ten (D1)||2024-25|
|UT Rio Grande Valley||WAC (D1)||UAC (D1)||2025-26||Football starting in 2025|
|Utah Tech||WAC (D1)||UAC (D1)||2023-24||Football-only move|
|UTSA||C-USA (D1)||AAC (D1)||2023-24|
|Valley Forge||CSAC (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Vanguard University||GSAC (NAIA)||PacWest (D2)||2024-25|
|Vermont State-Johnson||NAC (D3)||Move to USCAA put on hold for 3 years|
|Vermont State-Randolph||Yankee Small College (USCAA)||Move to club sports model rescinded|
|Vermont Technical College||Yankee Small College (USCAA)||Yankee Small College (USCAA)||2023-24||Becoming part of Vermont State University|
|Wells College||United East (D3)||AMCC (D3)||2023-24|
|Western Illinois||Summit League / MVFC (D1)||OVC (D1)||2023-24||Football joining OVC in 2024-25|
|Westmont College||GSAC (NAIA)||PacWest (D2)||2023-24|
|Whittier||SCIAC (D3)||None||2023-24||Dropping football|
|Wilkes University||MAC Freedom (D3)||Landmark (D3)||2023-24|
|William Woods||N/A||TBD (NAIA)||2024-25|
|Wilson College||CSAC (D3)||United East (D3)||2023-24||CSAC and United East Conference Merging|
|Young Harris University||Peach Belt (D2)||Conference Carolinas (D2)||2023-24|
7/1/22 Update: We will kick off this summary with the two biggest news stories in recent realignment memory: Oklahoma and Texas will move to the SEC no later than the 2025-26 academic year although they could join a year earlier in 2024-25. The other seismic shift was the duo of UCLA and USC announcing they are leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten starting with the 2024-25 academic year.
BYU will be joining the Big 12 conference starting with the 2023-24 academic year alongside the three AAC teams Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston. With the AAC needing to reload after losing 3 members, they opted to raid Conference USA for 6 members: Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA. Those 6 are moving to the AAC starting with the 2023-24 academic year.
Hartford announced in May 2021 that they would drop from Division I to compete at the Division III level starting in 2023. That timeline is subject to approval from the NCAA with the expected full D3 membership to start in the 2025-26 academic year. Hartford will join the Commonwealth Coast Conference starting in 2023-24.
Conference USA will welcome four new members with two FBS independents and two FCS teams joining the conference. Liberty and New Mexico State will leave FBS independent status to become members of C-USA. The two FCS teams moving up will be Jacksonville State from the ASUN and Sam Houston State from the WAC. All four schools will join beginning with the 2023-24 academic year.
Lamar University decided its foray into the WAC wasn’t the right decision and will head back to the Southland Conference after two seasons. Lamar joined the WAC in the 2021-22 academic year and will return to the Southland for the 2023-24 academic year. Incarnate Word also decided to not leave for the WAC and will remain in the Southland Conference.
Murray State’s football program will join the MVFC starting with the 2023-24 season. The Racers’ other sports have already moved to the similarly named but separate conference of the Missouri Valley this year. In a similar vein, North Carolina A&T will move its football program from the Big South to the CAA in 2023-24. NCAT is already a member of the CAA in all other sports but wanted to help the Big South keep its FCS Playoff automatic qualifier spot for the 2022 season.
A student referendum to increase fees was passed at UT-Rio Grande Valley, which puts the school one step closer to starting football. The final step before football becomes officially sponsored by the school is a vote from the Board of Regents, which will happen in early 2022. The football program is likely to start playing in 2024 or 2025.
Chicago State left the Western Athletic Conference after the 2021-22 academic year but there has been no indication of which conference they will be headed to – if any. The Division I path forward for Chicago State has many obstacles.
7/11/22 Update: Lamar University announced they would rejoin the Southland Conference in 2022 – a year earlier than originally planned. The move leaves the WAC with only 6 members for 2022.
8/3/22 Update: Campbell University announced they are leaving the Big South to join the Colonial Athletic Association starting in 2023. The CAA will have 15 football-playing members in 2023 with the recent string of new members.
8/25/22 Update: IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) will be splitting into 2 separate universities by the start of the 2024-25 academic year. Indiana University will keep the Indianapolis campus location and change the name to Indiana University Indianapolis. Indiana University Indianapolis will retain the IUPUI athletics program and nickname of the Jaguars.
10/7/22 Update: Pete Thamel reported that Kennesaw State will leave the ASUN to join C-USA starting in 2024. Kennesaw State has seen a rapid rise in the FCS ranks with a successful football program, a topic discussed previously on this website.
10/14/22 Update: The report from Pete Thamel a week prior was confirmed with Conference USA announcing Kennesaw State as a future member beginning in 2024-25.
11/9/22 Update: The University of New Orleans will not be adding football, women’s golf, women’s soccer, or a marching band after students rejected a proposal 69% to 31%. UNO’s potential football team would have joined the Southland Conference.
11/18/22 Update: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley made it official that football will begin in 2025. The Vaqueros will automatically be eligible for the WAC championship and postseason in 2025. In addition, the school announced it added women’s swimming and diving to its sports offerings with the first season in the fall of 2024.
2/3/23 Update: ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that the Oklahoma and Texas move from the Big 12 to the SEC was unlikely to occur before the 2025 season. Both schools were targeting a move to the SEC a year earlier in 2024 but as of February 2023, the schools, the Big 12, and ESPN and Fox networks could not come to an agreement.
2/9/23 Update: Well… that didn’t take long for the Big 12, Oklahoma, and Texas to get a deal done. The two schools will forego $100 million in revenue (the money will be split among Fox and the 8 legacy schools) in exchange for joining the SEC starting in the 2024-25 academic year. It’s no surprise that this deal got done given the amount of money on the table and we all know that money runs college athletics.
3/20/23 Update: Saint Francis (Brooklyn, New York) announced they will cut all athletic programs following the 2023 spring semester. SFC has decided to focus on academics as they are adding new academic programs and moving to a new location. The Terriers were one of the founding members of the Northeast Conference in 1981 and the news comes just 3 days after fellow NEC program Fairleigh Dickinson produced the second 16 over 1 upset in NCAA Men’s Basketball history.
4/17/23 Update: The ASUN-WAC football partnership has found a new home and name. The 9 schools that currently play football in the ASUN and WAC – along with UTRGV in 2025 – will move to the United Athletic Conference effective with the 2023-24 academic year. Only seven schools will be eligible for the FCS playoff berth in 2023 and a six-game conference schedule will be played. That will change to 9 teams in 2024 and an eight-game conference schedule in 2024.
5/10/23 Update: Le Moyne College (DeWitt, New York) is heading to Division 1 and the Northeast Conference. After months of speculation, the school confirmed on May 10 that it would leave the Division 2 Northeast-10 Conference to join the NEC beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The Dolphins will not be eligible for any NCAA Championships until 2027-28 but they will be eligible for NEC Championships after only two years beginning in 2025-26.
5/12/23 Update: Western Illinois will leave the Summit League to join the Ohio Valley Conference starting with the 2023-24 academic year. WIU’s football program will remain in the Missouri Valley Football Conference for 2023-24 and join the OVC in 2024-25. WIU has been a founding member of the Summit League since 1982 when it was called the Association of Mid-Continent Universities before the name changed in 1989 to the Mid-Continent Conference. The conference change its name again in 2007 to the current name: the Summit League.
5/24/23 Update: Another minor change that has no impact on realignment occurred with George Washington University changing its nickname from the Colonials to the Revolutionaries. GWU will use the new nickname beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The Revolutionaries are a member of the Atlantic 10 where they’ve been since 1976.
7/20/23 Update: The CAA has changed its name from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Coastal Athletic Association effective with the 2023-24 academic year. The conference will continue to use the same CAA block logo as it did previously and only logos bearing the word “Colonial” will be replaced with “Coastal”.
7/1/22 Update: Anderson University (South Carolina) will be adding football with the intent to join the South Atlantic Conference starting with the 2024-25 season.
Post University (Waterbury, Connecticut) announced an intention to become a Division II member in football. They will be moving from a sprint football team into a to-be-determined Division II conference in the future. The Eagles are a member of the Division 2 Central Athletic Collegiate Conference (CACC), which does not sponsor football. 2022 will mark the 2nd year that Post has fielded a full-sized football team.
Thomas More (Crestview Hills, Kentucky) will leave the Mid-South Conference in the NAIA to move up to Division 2. They have been invited to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference and will spend the 2022-23 year as a member of the NAIA. Thomas More will begin competing in the GMAC beginning with the 2023-24 academic year.
11/1/2022 Update: Menlo College (Atherton, California) is looking to become an NCAA member by the 2024-25 season. Menlo is currently a member of the NAIA’s Golden State Athletic Conference after joining the GSAC in 2015. The university is seeking to find more regional scheduling partners as a member of the Division 2 PacWest conference along with scheduling additional teams from the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
11/30/22 Update: Holy Names University (Oakland, California) announced the unfortunate news that they will no longer sponsor sports after the 2022-23 academic year. HNU is a member of the PacWest Conference and the press release also highlighted the ongoing financial difficulties the school faces. HNU is currently seeking some type of partnership with an existing institution as a way to stay open.
Upper Iowa University (Fayette, Iowa) will be moving from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference to the Great Lakes Valley Conference beginning with the 2023-24 season. UIU will become the 14th member of the conference and will be the 8th football-playing member.
12/11/22 Update: Bloomfield College (Bloomfield, New Jersey) will merge with Montclair State starting in 2023-24. The school will be known as “Bloomfield College of Montclair State” with Montclair State financially supporting the college until the merger is completed. It is unknown if the athletics will remain separate as Montclair State competes at the Division 3 level. Bloomfield competes as a member of the Division 2 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
12/12/22 Update: Bluefield State (Bluefield, West Virginia) will return to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association after an almost seven-decade absence in 2023-24. The Big Blue previously competed in the CIAA from 1932 through 1955 but left to join the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The WVIAC dissolved following the 2012-13 academic year and BSU has competed as a Division 2 Independent, in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, and the USCAA since the WVIAC broke up.
In other CIAA news, the Board of Directors will no longer allow Chowan University to be an associate member in football beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. There is no word yet on which conference Chowan will join but we will update this post when it is known. Chown was a member of the CIAA from 2008 through 2017 and then joined the Conference Carolinas starting with the 2017-18 academic year. The CC does not currently sponsor football, which is why Chowan was an associate member of the CIAA for that sport.
12/20/22 Update: Holy Names University (Oakland, California) will close its doors in May 2023 after the 2022-23 academic year concludes. The school previously announced it would drop all sports effective with the 2023-24 academic year but the financial woes have deepened to the point it can no longer continue. The school currently has $49 million in debt and another $200 million would be required to renovate and update the current facilities to be in compliance.
1/21/23 Update: We reported earlier in January 2023 month that Sul Ross State was going to join the Lone Star Conference in the future and there is now a reported timeline. According to Texas Football, SRSU will join the Lone Start Conference for the 2024-25 academic year. Sul Ross State currently plays in the Division 3 American Southwest Conference, which they have been a member of since the conference’s inception in 1996.
1/26/23 Update: A flurry of changes was announced involving two conferences. Chowan University, which is set to leave the CIAA following the 2022-23 academic season, will join the Gulf South Conference in football only for 2023 and 2024. Erskine will join the Gulf South in football for the 2024 season only.
North Greenville was also extended as a football affiliate through the 2024 season. Shorter University will join Conference Carolinas starting with the 2024-25 season. Shorter will play in the GSC for the 2023 season followed by a year as a Division 2 independent in 2024 while all other sports will join the CC in 2024-25. Starting in 2025, the Conference Carolinas will bring back football for the first time in 40 years. The CC will feature the following teams: Barton, Chowan, Erskine, UNC Pembroke, North Greenville, and Shorter.
On top of all that, Lincoln University (Jefferson City, Missouri) will be moving from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association to the Great Lakes Valley Conference beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Lincoln University also announced it will add baseball, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer as part of the move to the GLVC.
2/4/23 Update: Simon Fraser – the lone Canadian university that competes in the NCAA – will need to find a new home for football in 2024. The school and the Lone Star Conference announced that Simon Fraser will not remain a football affiliate following the 2023 season. The trio comprised of Central Washington, Simon Fraser, and Western Oregon are all members of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. However, the GNAC decided to drop football following the 2021 season and all three schools became football affiliates of the Lone Star Conference starting in 2022.
2/7/23 Update: Roosevelt University (Chicago, Illinois) has completed and submitted its application to become a member at the NCAA Division 2 level. The NCAA will later in 2023 if Roosevelt is accepted as a provisional D2 member. The school has already been accepted as a provisional member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and would spend the 2023-24 season in its current NAIA conference – the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The school would be eligible for GLIAC championships beginning in 2024-25 and NCAA championships in 2026-27.
2/20/23 Update: Talladega College (Talladega, Alabama) announced they have submitted its application to the NCAA and are planning to transition to Division 2. Talladega College is currently a member of the NAIA in the Southern States Athletic Conference and if they are accepted as a provisional D2 member, the school intends to join the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Talladega was a charter member of the SIAC in 1913 and remained with the SIAC until 1941. The school did not provide a timetable for when the transition to D2 would begin.
Talladega is not the only SSAC school with NCAA Division 2 aspirations. Middle Georgia State (Macon, Georgia) announced they plan to apply to Division 2 (paywall warning) and are targeting a 2025-26 start date as a provision NCAA member. Middle Georgia State plans to join the Peach Belt Conference to help reduce travel but they will need to apply to the PBC first.
2/22/23 Update: Young Harris University (Young Harris, Georgia) will be leaving the Peach Belt Conference to join the Conference Carolinas effective with the 2023-24 academic year. The school has had a brief tenure in Division 2 having only joined the NCAA starting in 2014-15. They were previously part of the National Junio College Athletic Association.
Westmont College (Montecito, California) will become a member of the PacWest Conference beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The school is transitioning from the NAIA’s Golden State Athletic Conference to NCAA Division 2. They will be eligible for NCAA championship events beginning in 2025-26 upon completion of the transition.
2/27/23 Update: Jessup University (Rocklin, California) is seeking to move out of the NAIA and the Golden State Athletic Conference into the NCAA’s Division 2 level. The school submitted an application to the NCAA and, if accepted, they will be a provisional remember in 2023-24 and join the PacWest Conference in 2024-25.
4/4/23 Update: Simon Fraser University – the NCAA’s lone Canadian university – is back in the news. SFU announced it is ending football as they are not able to permanent home for the program. In February, it was reported the school would need to find a new home in 2024 with the Lone Star Conference ending its affiliation with SFU in football. Simon Fraser was forced to find a new home after the Great Northwest Athletic Conference decided to stop sponsoring football.
4/19/23 Update: The NCAA confirmed six schools have submitted applications to join Division 2 starting in 2023-24. Those six schools are Jessup University, Menlo College, Roosevelt University, Sul Ross State, Talladega College, and Vanguard University. We reported those in previous updates except for Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, California), which will follow the same path as Jessup and Menlo of moving from the NAIA’s Golden State Athletic Conference to the Division 2 PacWest Conference. If accepted, Vanguard will begin the transition process as a provisional member in 2023-24 before moving to the PacWest in 2024-25.
5/11/23 Update: Post University (Waterbury, Connecticut) will be joining the Northeast-10 Conference as a football-only member beginning in 2024-25. The Eagles recently moved football from a sprint team to a varsity team and spent the 2022 season as a Division 2 independent. Post will be an independent once again in 2023 before joining the NE-10 in 2024.
6/26/23 Update: Arkansas-Fort Smith (Fort Smith, Arkansas) will leave the Lone Star Conference to join the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. UAFS will become the 14th member of the MIAA when they join and will offset the loss of Lincoln (Missouri) the same year. The MIAA will be comprised of members from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.
6/30/23 Update: Alliance University (New York, New York) is closing after the school lost its accreditation. The school’s Board of Trustees could not find a path forward after financial issues and will close on August 31, 2023. Alliance was a full member of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) and will have 12 full members for the 2023-24 academic year after the loss of Alliance.
7/31/23 and 8/31/23 Update: Alderson Broaddus (Philippi, West Virginia) is in deep and troubled waters. West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission authorized an order for the school to begin winding down operations. The school would operate for the fall 2023 semester and only allow seniors who will graduate by December 2023 to return to school. No other students – new, returning, or international – would be allowed to enroll. Furthermore, the order would cease all athletic activities immediately. AB is a full member of the Mountain East Conference and they have faced numerous financial difficulties recently. The decision to shut its doors was confirmed on August 31 when AB filed for bankruptcy but the university will not stay open for the Fall 2023 semester as originally planned.
7/1/22 Update: Carlow University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) announced plans to move up to the Division 3 level and will join the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. Carlow is currently a member of the USCAA and NAIA for its various athletics teams.
Centenary College (Shreveport, Louisiana) announced they will bring back football starting with the 2024-25 season. Centenary had a football program from 1894 through 1941 and again in the 1960s but scrapped the sport. The school is a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in most sports. The SCAC does not sponsor football, which means Centenary will have to find a different home for that sport.
The North Atlantic Conference will be expanding for the 2023-24 academic year with two new members. Lesley University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) will move from the New England Collegiate Conference while SUNY Morrisville will leave the United East Conference (the football team is currently in the Empire 8 conference, a sport the NAC does not sponsor).
Mills College – based in Oakland, California – announced it would no longer be a degree-granting institution but this later changed to a merger with Northeastern University out of Boston, Massachusetts. No sports will be sponsored by Mills following the 2022-23 academic year.
Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas) announced a move from the American Southwest Conference to the Southern Athletic Association in a football-only move starting with the 2023-24 academic year. They will be the tenth football member of the SAA when they join in 2023 and will have some company as an affiliate member. Trinity University (San Antonio) has been an affiliate member of football since 2017.
SUNY Maritime will leave the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference to become a member of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference. They will join the NEWMAC starting with the 2023-24 season.
The Landmark Conference announced they would add football as a conference sport starting with the 2023-24 season. Two schools – Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) and Lycoming College (Williamsport, Pennsylvania) – will become full members while Keystone College (Factoryville, Pennsylvania) will join as an affiliate football member. Those three will join current Landmark members Catholic University (leaving NEWMAC) and the three Centennial Conference departees Juniata, Moravian, and Susquehanna.
The Middle Atlantic Conferences will be making a change as a result of Lycoming and Wilkes leaving the MAC Commonwealth. They will shift Lebanon Valley to the MAC Freedom in 2023-24 to balance out each league with 8 teams.
8/25/22 Update: Lyon College (Batesville, Arkansas) will make the transition from NAIA to Division 3 starting in 2023. The Scots will be a member of the American Midwest Conference at the NAIA level in 2022 before moving to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2023-24. Lyon will become fully eligible D3 members in 2025-26 provided they meet the requirements set by the NCAA.
9/24/22 Update: Hilbert College (Hamburg, New York) will leave its current football-independent status to join the Empire 8 starting in the 2024-25 academic year. Hilbert started its football program in 2022 but did not announce a conference affiliation for the program at the time. The school’s main conference – the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference – does not sponsor football but the school will continue to house most of its sports in the AMCC.
10/30/22 Update: Calvin University (Grand Rapids, Michigan) – currently a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association – is adding a football program. The school said football would be added in 2023 but later released its inaugural schedule starting with the 2024-25 season.
Eastern University (St. Davids, Pennsylvania) started a club football program for 2022 and the football team will join the Middle Atlantic Conference in 2023. Maine Maritime is attempting to restart its football team after shutting it down during the pandemic. The school announced in October 2022 that it raised $56,000 in an effort to bring the football team back. The school is targeting the 2025 season for its first season back on the gridiron in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
11/1/22 Update: McMurry University (Abilene, Texas) will leave the American Southwest Conference and join the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference at the start of the 2024-25 academic year. McMurry was a member of the ASC twice with the first stint coming in 1996 through 2012. They left to join Division 2‘s Heartland Conference but ended up moving back to Division 3 and re-joining the ASC for the 2014-15 academic year.
11/14/22 Update: It was a sad day as it was announced by a coach that Whittier College will drop the football program, which means that the 2022 season was its final one. Whittier College is a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and the football program once had a player by the name of Richard Nixon.
11/20/22 Update: There will be a new automatic bid for the Division 3 Playoffs beginning in 2026 with the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference’s decision to reinstate football starting in 2024. As previously mentioned, McMurry will move its football team from the American Southwest Conference to the SCAC. They will be joined by Austin College (from the ASC), Centenary College (Louisiana; reinstating football), and Lyon College (from the NAIA’s American Midwest Conference) in 2024.
By 2026, the SCAC will also welcome Southwestern University (ASC football affiliate), Texas Lutheran (ASC football affiliate), and Trinity (SAA football affiliate). To make this a bit more confusing, Southwestern has previously announced they are leaving the ASC for the SAA beginning in 2023. Also joining these teams by 2026 is Schreiner University, which will be a new football team per the SCAC’s release.
To recap, the SCAC will have 7 members by 2026: Austin College, Centenary College, Lyon College, Schreiner University, Southwestern University, Texas Luthern, and Trinity (TX).
12/11/22 Update: Cazenovia College (Cazenovia, New York) will be shutting down following the 2022-23 academic year. The school cited financial difficulties as the main cause and also noted a drop in enrollment as being another challenge. The school participates in the Division 3 North Atlantic Conference.
12/19/22 Update: Two Division 3 conferences – the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) and United East Conference – announced they intend to merge beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. This would bring together 17 members under 1 new entity, which has yet to be given a name.
The CSAC is made up of 10 members – Bryn Athyn College, Cairn University, Cedar Crest College, Clarks Summit University, Keystone College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Rosemont College, Saint Elizabeth University, University of Valley Forge, and Wilson College.
The United East conference has 9 members – Gallaudet University, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Penn State-Abington, Penn State-Berks, Penn State-Harrisburg, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, SUNY Morrisville, and Wells College – with the latter 2 leaving after 2022-23. Morrisville will move to the NAC and Wells College is joining the Allegheny Mountain College Conference (AMCC).
2/7/23 Update: A few division 3 moves were announced earlier in the academic year and all 3 involve the New England Collegiate Conference. In September 2022, Mitchell College and New England College were both announced as new additions to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. The third move out of the NECC was announced in January 2023 with Eastern Nazarene leaving to join the North Atlantic Conference beginning with the 2023-24 academic year.
2/8/23 Update: Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College are combining to form Vermont State University. VSU will officially begin on July 1, 2023 as part of the 2023-24 academic year. The newly formed school will continue to have campus locations in Castleton (Division 3 Little East with football in the MASCAC), Johnson (D3 North Atlantic), Lyndon (D3 North Atlantic), Randolph (USCAA Yankee Small College), and Williston (no sports).
Northern Vermont University consists of two campuses in Johnson and Lyndon while Vermont Technical College is located in Randolph. Originally, the four campuses with sports teams were anticipated to keep their athletic programs and maintain their current conference affiliation. However, that changed with an email on February 8 stating the Johnson campus would leave the NCAA Division 3 North Atlantic Conference and join the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) starting in 2024-25. Currently, the Randolph campus (Vermont Technical College) is a member of the USCAA’s Yankee Small College Conference. Below is a graphic showing the timeline of events for these changes.
2/22/23 Update: Salve Regina will leave the Commonwealth Coast Conference to join the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) starting with the 2023-24 academic year. Salve Regina had been a member since the CCC was founded in 1984. Meanwhile, one team that will be arriving in the CCC is Johnson & Wales University (Providence, Rhode Island) starting in 2024-25.
3/1/23 Update: Penn State Brandywine has been approved for an exploratory year at the NCAA Division 3 level starting in 2023-24. PSU Brandywine intends to join Division 3 and the exploratory year will help ensure they will meet the requirements necessary to complete the transition. Should the school finish the exploratory year and wish to continue the transition process, it would have another three full academic years as a provisional member meaning it would become a full NCAA Division 3 member in 2027-28. Currently and for the 2023-24 academic year, PSU Brandywine is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, which is comprised of two-year colleges. Brandywine is a member of the Penn State University Athletic Conference.
3/3/23 Update: Finlandia University (Hancock, Michigan) announced it would not enroll students for the 2023-24 academic year effectively closing the school. The school cited a decrease in enrollment and higher debt costs as the main reasons for the decision. Finlandia has already reached agreements with Michigan Tech, Bay College, Adrian College, and Wartburg College to help students finish their degrees. A fifth agreement is in the works with Northern Michigan University.
Unfortunately, athletics were suspended for the remainder of the 2022-23 academic year. Finlandia is a member of the Coast to Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) except for football and hockey. The football team was a member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference while the two hockey teams were in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.
3/10/23 Update: Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas) and Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) will both become full members of the Southern Athletic Association in 2025-26. Southwestern was previously reported to move to the SAA as a football affiliate starting in 2023-24 and that move will still happen. All other sports will follow in two years. As for Trinity, they have been a football affiliate in the SAA since 2017 and they will depart from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The move to the SAA represents an about-face as both football programs were scheduled to join the SCAC starting in 2026-27.
4/7/23 Update: Trocaire College (Buffalo, New York) will be taking over Medaille University (Buffalo, New York) starting on August 1, 2023. Trocaire is acquiring the academics and athletics of Medaille but there appear to be 3 sports that will not continue after the integration: men’s tennis and men’s and women’s swimming and diving. This merger has been building for a while after the two schools entered into a co-op agreement in August 2022 followed by Trocaire College purchasing six Medaille University buildings in January 2023. Medaille is a member of the Empire 8 Conference and they are expected to remain there under the name of Trocaire College Mavericks.
4/26/23 Update: Vermont State is back in the news with yet another change. After previously announcing that VSU-Johnson would downgrade athletics from NCAA Division 3 to USCAA and VSU-Randolph would transition to a club sports model, both decisions have been reversed. VSU-Johnson will continue to be a member of the Division 3 NAC and VSU-Randolph will remain a member of the Yankee Small College in the USCAA. Both athletic programs will remain in their respective places for at least three years.
5/12/23 Update: The acquisition of Medaille University by Trocaire College has been called off. The impact this will have on either college is unknown as is the reason why the expected acquisition suddenly fell apart. It was expected that Trocaire College would absorb Medaille beginning August 1, 2023.
5/15/23 Update: Multiple updates at the D3 dropped on Monday, May 15 including more Medaille University news. Three days after the merger with Trocaire fell apart, the school announced it would close on August 31, 2023. There was no way for the administration to salvage the current situation following the news of the merger not occurring.
In slightly less depressing news unless you’re a fan of the American Southwest Conference, Concordia University in Austin, Texas is leaving the ASC to join the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference beginning in 2024-25. The University of the Ozarks (Clarksville, Arkansas) is also bolting the ASC to join the SCAC in 2024-25.
5/22/23 Update: In the smallest of “realignment” changes, Olivet College (Olivet, Michigan) will be called The University of Olivet beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. Other than a change to its logo, the nickname (Comets) and current conference are not changing. Olivet is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).
6/1/23 Update: Berea College (Berea, Kentucky) is leaving the Collegiate Conference of the South to join the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Berea will be the 11th member of the HCAC assuming there are no defections between now and the 2024-25 season.
Roanoke College (Salem, Virginia) is moving forward with a return to the gridiron after it eclipsed its fundraising goal of $1.2 million. The school is planning to have a club football team in 2024 before it launches a varsity return in 2025. The Maroons are a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and would become the ODAC’s 9th football member in 2025.
In other “realignment” news, another college has changed its name. This time it was Nazareth College (Pittsford, New York), which became Nazareth University on June 1, 2023. As with the University of Olivet change, the logo and conference membership (Empire 8) will remain unchanged.
6/15/23 Update: New England College (Henniker, New Hampshire) is also bringing back football. The first football season for the Pilgrims will be 2024-25. NEC is leaving the New England Collegiate Conference after the 2022-23 academic year to join the Great Northeast Athletic Conference beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The GNAC does not sponsor football and the future conference for the NEC football team will be confirmed at a later date.
6/22/23 Update: The Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, New York) will leave the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) and join the Atlantic East Conference beginning in the 2024-25 academic year. The C2C is made up of schools all across the US to help with athletic scheduling while the AEC will be comprised of schools from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia when Pratt joins.
In other news, the previously known merger between the Colonial States Athletic Conference and the United East Conference will be finalized on July 1, 2023. The newly merged conferences will keep the United East Conference name and have 17 schools under its umbrella. The 7 current members of the UEC that will remain are Gallaudet, Lancaster Bible College, Penn College, Penn State-Abington, Penn State-Berks, Penn State-Harrisburg, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. They will be joined by the 10 schools from the CSAC in 2023-24: Bryn Athyn, Cairn, Cedar Crest, Clarks Summit, Keystone, Notre Dame (MD), Rosemont, Saint Elizabeth, Valley Forge, and Wilson.
6/23/23 Update: Cabrini University (Radnor, Pennsylvania) will be sold to Villanova University in nearby Philadelphia. Cabrini will be open for the 2023-24 academic year but will no longer exist beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Students that remain with the school will matriculate to Villanova beginning in 2024-25. Cabrini is a full member of the Division 3 Atlantic East Conference and the AEC announced the day prior that the Pratt Institute would join the conference in 2024-25. The AEC will remain at 7 schools with the addition of Pratt and the loss of Cabrini.
6/28/23 Update: Bob Jones University (Greenville, South Carolina) has decided it is no longer pursuing its membership in the NCAA Division 3 ranks. The school will return to the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) effective with the 2023-24 academic year. Bob Jones began a transition period into the NCAA starting with the 2020-21 academic year but was unable to find a conference to join and competed as an independent school.
7/1/22 Update: Bismarck State is planning to join the NAIA in the future although it has yet to set a definite timetable for the move. Bismarck State is currently a two-year college but will transition to a 4-year college along with the move to NAIA. The logical destination for Bismarck is the North Star Athletic Association.
Evangel University (Springfield, Missouri) will have a new home in 2023-24 when they become members of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Evangel will play the 2022-23 season as a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, which they joined in 1987. While Evangel may be leaving the HAAC, the conference will pick up one new football-only member in 2023-24 when Missouri Baptist joins. MBU has been a member of the Mid-States Football Association since 2014 when the program was started and the majority of its sports play in the American Midwest Conference.
Sierra Nevada University will become part of the University of Nevada, Reno as part of an agreement between the two schools. SNU participates at the NAIA level in the Cal Pac Conference. Nevada and SNY have informed the U.S. Department of Education that the ownership change went into effect on July 1, 2022 but decisions regarding the sports programs at SNU have yet to be made.
Tennessee Southern (Pulaski, Tennessee) is rejoining the Southern States Athletic Conference in 2023-24 after spending three years in the Mid-South Conference. UT Southern has undergone quite a transformation in the last five years with a name change from Martin Methodist College to the current name of UT Southern after they joined the University of Tennessee system. UT Southern was previously part of the SSAC from 2013 through 2020.
Thomas University (Thomasville, Georgia) will leave The Sun Conference for a majority of sports and join the Southern States Athletic Conference beginning in 2023-24. The Night Hawks will field a football team starting in 2023 as well.
8/25/22 Update: Point University (West Point, Georgia) will become a member of the Southern States Athletic Conference starting in the 2023-24 academic year. The Skyhawks will remain members of the Appalachian Athletic Conference for 2022-23 and play football in the Mid-South Conference this year. As of this update, the SSAC does not sponsor football meaning Point University could continue to play football in the AAC in the future.
9/11/22 Update: Arizona Christian University (Glendale, Arizona) will move its football program from the Sooner Athletic Conference to the Frontier Conference starting with the 2023-24 academic year. ACU joined the Central States Football League in 2015 before the CSFL associate football membership moved en masse to the Sooner Athletic Conference in 2018.
9/18/22 Update: Shawnee State (Portsmouth, Ohio) will move from the Mid-South Conference to the River States Conference beginning with the 2023-24 academic year.
9/28/22 Update: Simpson University (Redding, California) has decided to add a football program to its athletics offerings. The school plans to scrimmage for the 2023 season followed by a full season in 2024. It is not yet known which conference they will join at the NAIA level.
10/7/22 Update: The University of Pikeville (Pikeville, Kentucky) will leave the Mid-South Conference to join the Appalachian Athletic Conference beginning in 2023-24. UPIKE has been a member of the Mid-South since 2000 and the conference has seen 3 other members leave or announce their intention to leave. Thomas More left for Division 2 in 2022 while Shawnee State and Tennessee Southern are leaving in 2023 while Wilberforce was the only team to join the MSC in the past year.
10/29/22 Update: The previously announced split of IUPUI into separate campuses of Indianapolis and Columbus has a slight update for IUPUC. The Columbus location will become a member of the River States Conference starting in 2023. Starting in 2022, IUPUC participated at the NAIA level in men’s and women’s cross country, softball, and baseball while they will add men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball into the mix for 2023.
11/4/22 Update: The University of the Virgin Islands will join the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference beginning in 2023-24. UVI has been a member of the NAIA’s independent conference the Continental Athletic Conference.
11/16/22 Update: Iowa Wesleyan has found a new home for a majority of its athletics starting in 2023-24. The Tigers will return to the American Midwest Conference after previously being a member from 1993 through 1995. IWU currently is a member of the Continental Athletic Conference, which is comprised of the NAIA independent schools. Football will remain in the North Star Athletic Association and Wrestling will say in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
1/10/23 Update: Baptist Bible College (Springfield, Missouri) is planning to apply for membership to the NAIA in the summer of 2023 with the hopes of starting its NAIA tenure in 2024. The Patriots are currently a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association as an independent in the Central Region of NCCAA’s Division 1 level. If accepted, Baptist Bible College will try to join the NAIA’s American Midwest Conference.
1/17/23 Update: Another sad update as Presentation College (Aberdeen, South Dakota) announced they would close following the 2022-23 academic year. The school already has agreements in place with other higher education institutions to allow current students to complete their degrees. Presentation is a member of the North Star Athletic Association comprised of schools in Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
2/21/23 Update: Trinity International University (Deerfield, Illinois) announced plans to move to an online-only structure for teaching starting with the 2023-24 academic year. The change means that the athletics department – currently in the NAIA’s Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference – will cease to exist next year. The school cited rising costs of higher education and declining enrollment as factors in its decision.
3/2/23 Update: The Golden State Athletic Conference will add 4 new members in 2024-25 to offset recently announced membership departures. The GSAC will raid the NAIA’s California Pacific Conference for Benedictine-Mesa (Mesa, Arizona), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott, Arizona), Park-Gilbert (Gilbert, Arizona), and Saint Katherine (San Marcos, California). Those four schools will replace the trio of Jessup University, Menlo College, and Westmont College leaving for the NCAA Division 2 PacWest Conference.
One team will also leave the NAIA entirely as Ohio Christian University (Circleville, Ohio) will play entirely in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The school will remain a member of the River States Conference for the 2023-24 academic year before shifting all sports to the NCCAA beginning in 2024-25.
3/28/23 Update: Yet another school announced it would close and this time it was Iowa Wesleyan (Mount Pleasant, Iowa). The Board of Trustees at IW stated the increased higher education expenses were the main culprit in the closing, which is effective May 31, 2023. Iowa Wesleyan was a member of the Continental Athletic Conference made up of independent NAIA schools. IW announced in November 2022 that it would join the American Midwest Conference but that move will not be completed.
4/3/23 Update: College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri) is returning to the NAIA after a two-year stint in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Ozarks will remain a member of the NCCAA in certain sports but will be back in the NAIA starting with the 2023-24 academic year. There is no word on which conference the school will join but it was a member of the Continental Athletic Conference, which is a conference made up of independent programs.
4/10/23 Update: The closures are not stopping. Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) announced it will close after the 2022-23 academic year due to financial difficulties and declining enrollment. Cardinal Stritch is a member of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, which will also lose Roosevelt University to the NCAA D2 GLIAC and Trinity International, which is moving to an online-only model and dropping athletics.
5/3/23 Update: The New College of Florida (Sarasota, Florida) is starting an athletic program and seeking to join the NAIA. The school will apply to the NAIA in the summer of 2023 with the aim of eventually joining the Sun Conference. They are starting with six sports: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, and softball.
While one school is adding athletics, another is suspending them. San Diego Christian College (Santee, California) is suspending athletics for the 2023-24 academic year. While the school intends to bring athletics back in 2024-25, the move to drop the entire athletics department is not a good sign for the future. SDCC is a member of the NAIA’s Golden State Athletic Conference. The GSAC is undergoing a huge membership change in 2023 and 2024 as four teams will be leaving for the NCAA Division 2 PacWest Conference while 4 others will be joining from fellow NAIA conference CalPac.
5/23/23 Update: William Woods (Fulton, Missouri) is joining the gridiron as the school announced it would start a football team. The program will kickoff its first season in 2024 and will also add women’s flag football in 2025. William Woods is a member of the American Midwest Conference, which doesn’t sponsor football. WWU did not identify which conference it will join for football.
5/26/23 Update: The College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri) announced its new home as the Bobcats will join the Sooner Athletic Conference beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Back in April, the school announced it would return to the NAIA but did not disclose which conference it would join. The Bobcats will become the SAC’s 13th member when it joins in 2024.
6/14/23 Update: Stanton University (Garden Grove, California) announced it will start an athletics program beginning with the 2024-25 academic year and be dual members of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association and the NAIA. The school will be known as the Stanton Fighting Elks and have both varsity and club sport. Stanton hopes to have varsity sports in golf, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, and volleyball in time for the 2024-25 seasons.
7/7/23 Update: North American University (Stafford, Texas) will have a new home in the Red River Athletic Conference beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. NAU was accepted as a full member for the 2023-24 academic year and previously played as a member of the Continental Athletic Conference, which is made up of independent NAIA schools. NAU will also move its football team to the Sooner Athletic Conference as the RRAC does not sponsor the sport.