This is part of an ongoing series covering various college realignment news for all three NCAA Divisions as well as the NAIA. The roundup below will cover news and reports since May 31 and provide updates on some previously discussed topics. As a reminder, all official moves starting with the 2023-24 academic year and beyond can be found on our realignment list.

We’ll break out the reports for each Division in the following order: Division 1Division 2Division 3, and NAIA. Clicking the links will bring you to that specific section. If a division is not highlighted, there has been no news in the preceding two weeks. We’ve also summarized the news items in a table below if you are more interested in a summary or specific news item rather than having to scroll to find it.

School(s)News ItemRealignment Change / Effective YearCurrent ConferenceNew Conference
AllianceDropping Women’s LacrosseYes – 2023-24CACC (D2)N/A
AlverniaWomen’s Bowling Joining ConferenceYes – 2023024N/AAMCC (D3)
Anna MariaMen’s Hockey Joining MASCACYes – 2024-25D3 IndependentMASCAC (D3)
Arizona StateNew AAU MemberNoN/AN/A
Atlantic East ConferenceWill Sponsor Women’s Flag FootballYes – 2024-25N/AN/A
Berea CollegeJoining HCACYes – 2024-25CCS (D3)HCAC (D3)
Bethune-CookmanBringing Back Women’s BowlingYes – 2023-24N/ASWAC (D1)
Big WestAdding Swimming and DivingYes – 2024-25N/AN/A
Cal Poly HumboldtAdding Men’s WrestlingYes – 2024-25N/ATBD (D2)
Commonwealth Coast ConferenceHired New CommissionerNoN/AN/A
ConnecticutMore Big 12 RumorsNoN/AN/A
Dominican (CA)Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Now D2Yes – 2023-24N/AD2 Independent
George WashingtonNew AAU MemberNoN/AN/A
Hiram CollegeJoining New Conference for Men’s VolleyballYes – 2024-25AMCC (D3)PAC (D3)
MemphisPossible Big 12 Target?NoN/AN/A
Miami (FL)New AAU MemberNoN/AN/A
MisericordiaAdding STUNTYes – 2024-25N/AMAC (D3)
Missouri StateMight Add 2 New SportsNoN/AN/A
Nazareth UniversitySlight Name changeNoN/AN/A
New England CollegeAdding FootballYes – 2024-25N/ATBD (D3)
NiagaraAdding Women’s BowlingYes – 2023-24N/ATBD (D1)
Notre Dame CollegeAdding New SportsYes – 2023-24N/AMEC (D2)
Notre Dame UniversityNew AAU Member
New Athletic Director
OtterbeinAdding Women’s WrestlingYes – 2024-25N/ATBD (D3)
PacWestHired New CommishNoN/AN/A
QuincyAdding STUNTYes – 2024-25N/AGLVC (D2)
Rivier UniversityMen’s Hockey Joining MASCACYes – 2024-25D3 IndependentMASCAC (D3)
RoanokeAdding FootballYes – 2025-26N/AODAC (D3)
SAAHired New CommissionerNoN/AN/A
Simon FraserThree Sports to RMAC
Football Update
Yes – 2023-24Independent (D2)RMAC (D2)
South FloridaNew AAU MemberNoN/AN/A
Stanton UniversityAdding Athletics ProgramYes – 2024-25N/AUSCAA / NAIA
Suffolk UniversityAdding Women’s LacrosseYes – 2025-26N/ACCC (D3)
Texas A&M-KingsvilleAdding STUNTYes – 2024-25N/ALSC (D2)
UC RiversideNew AAU MemberNoN/AN/A
UICMen’s Tennis Changing ConferencesYes – 2023-24Southland (D1)MAC (D1)
University of New EnglandAdding Women’s GolfYes – 2024-25N/ATBD (D3)
UticaDropping 4 SportsYes – 2023-24Empire 8 (D3)N/A
UW-River FallsAdding 2 SportsYes – 2024-25N/AWIAC (D3)
Warner PacificMultiple Sport ChangesYes – 2023-24CCC (NAIA)N/A

UConn Favored by Big 12 Coaches

UConn is back in the rumor mill as a Big 12 target. It was discussed in the last Realignment Report as well when Colorado and Gonzaga were also linked to a move to the Big 12. As we said last time, the Big 12 is clearly focusing on building an even stronger basketball brand and the Big 12 coaches would like to see them added. Brett McMurphy also reported that a full-member invite is not out of the question for UConn.

Memphis to Big 12 Possibility… Refuted by Big 12 Commish

Here’s a rumor we haven’t previously reported on but Memphis was in the news for a possible move to the Big 12. Again. Memphis was thought to be a target for the Big 12 after Oklahoma and Texas announced their departures and the conference needed to find some additional teams. Unfortunately for Memphis, they were on the outside looking in as BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston were chosen ahead of the Tigers. As of recently, it looks like the Big 12 is vetting Memphis again as Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark made a campus visit. Yormak denied being on campus and having any discussions about Memphis being invited to the Big 12 according to Pete Thamel.

And here we are with another set of contradicting reports like we’ve seen multiple times with the Pac-12.

If Memphis were actually added this would fit well within the pattern of the Big 12 vetting well-known basketball programs such as Connecticut, Gonzaga, San Diego State, and UNLV. Memphis basketball is having a resurgence under former NBA player Penny Hardaway who has led the Tigers to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments and won the NIT in 2021. Memphis has also finished in the top three in the American for three straight seasons. While the basketball side seems to be the focus for the Big 12 overall, Memphis’ football team has been a very consistent program the last decade having made a bowl game every year since 2014 (they were selected for the Hawaii Bowl in 2020 but the game was later canceled. There’s no NCAA “it didn’t happen” mind trick on this one). They’ve also made three AAC Championship games in 2017, 2018, and 2019 coming away with the title in 2019 over Cincinnati.

Notre Dame Athletic Director Change

Here’s a topic we normally wouldn’t cover but this one has realignment ramifications. Current Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick will leave his post in early 2024 and will be replaced by Pete Bevacqua. Bevacqua is chairman of NBC Sports Group with which Notre Dame has an exclusive contract to televise the Fighting Irish home games. You can probably see where this is going because Notre Dame’s TV contract is up after the 2025 season. Bevacqua is a former Notre Dame football player when he walked on to the team as a punter. He graduated in 1993 and he is set to continue carrying the Irish independence flag.

There is the thought that Notre Dame to the Big Ten might be a possibility since NBC will carry some of the Big Ten games starting in 2023 but that looks to be dead on arrival if this news is correct. It’s clear that Bevacqua was hired by Notre Dame to help negotiate the next television deal because he already knows everything about the current deal with NBC. It’s a shrewd move especially if it results in a bidding war between NBC and other networks.

Six New AAU Members Announced

Six schools joined the Association of American Universities – the highly regarded coalition of academic institutions. The six schools are Arizona State, California Riverside, George Washington, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, and South Florida. The attention will now focus on Arizona State, Miami, and Notre Dame because all three will undoubtedly be linked to the Big Ten given the conference’s strong preference for AAU membership. Never mind that Nebraska isn’t an AAU member despite the other 15 Big Ten schools being in the AAU (including UCLA and USC).

It’s hard to believe that a school like Notre Dame would automatically be disqualified in the realignment race for the Big Ten simply because they weren’t in the AAU. All the money, errr… history, rivalries, and pageantry, would be enough to overlook the missing credential. A Big Ten source has confirmed that the AAU stipulation is indeed a preference and not a requirement.

Queens University Undergoes Rebranding

Queens University (Charlotte, North Carolina) announced it would begin a new branding initiative starting with the 2023-24 academic year. The school unveiled a new logo that will be displayed on its different athletic courts as well as changing colors and be referred to by the acronym “QUC” (Queens University Charlotte). 2023-24 will make Queens’ second year of a four-year transition process from Division 2 to Division. QUC left the South Atlantic Conference and joined the ASUN Conference as part of the move.

D1 Sports Changes

The Big West is adding men’s and women’s swimming and diving to its sponsored sports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The conference also approved the addition of a five-team conference championship in baseball, which will commence in the spring of 2025. Interestingly, the Big West will not add a softball championship making them one of two conferences not to have a conference tournament to determine the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament (the West Coast Conference is the other).

Bethune-Cookman will bring back women’s bowling for the 2023-24 academic year. The program was paused following the COVID suspension in the spring of 2020 but the school has decided the break is over. Bethune-Cookman is a full member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the SWAC does sponsor women’s bowling as a sport.

Missouri State might add two new women’s sports by 2024-25. The school has seen a higher enrollment of women compared to men, which means that it will need to remain Title IX compliant. The two sports they are currently considering are women’s wrestling and STUNT. The Bears are a full member of the Missouri Valley Conference and sponsor 17 varsity sports. If the school added these two new sports, it would give them 13 women’s sports and 6 men’s sports.

Niagara University is adding women’s bowling to its varsity sports beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The decision was made in the wake of the recent events surrounding Medaille University’s closure. Niagara has essentially absorbed the Medaille bowling team and decided to add the sport along with hiring the former head coach and assistant coach of the Mavericks. While Niagara is a full member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the MAAC does not sponsor women’s bowling, and a future conference – if any – is not yet known.

The University of Illinois-Chicago has a new home for its men’s tennis program. UIC will become part of the #MACtion beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. UIC will be the seventh team to compete in the MAC along with the full members of Ball State, Buffalo, Northern Illinois, Toledo, and Western Michigan as well as affiliate member Binghamton. UIC spent the 2022-23 season as an affiliate member of the Southland Conference and is also an affiliate of the MAC for men’s swimming and diving. The Flames are a full member of the Missouri Valley Conference.

Simon Fraser Football Update

Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada) has suffered a setback in its bid to return to the gridiron. Earlier this year the school was notified by the Lone Star Conference that it would end its contract with SFU as an affiliate member in football. In April 2023, the school decided it would drop football immediately as a result of it and that was subsequently challenged by alumni and supporters of the team. The school agreed to have an independent special advisor look into possible scenarios for the reinstatement of football.

Unfortunately, the special advisor has issued an interim ruling that states football is not likely to return even in a limited capacity. The special advisor looked into competitive exhibition games for the 2023 season but determined there was no viable path due to safety and logistical concerns. A full report on the return of football to Simon Fraser is expected in September 2023 and will address if a return in 2024 can happen.

Division 2 PacWest Conference Hires New Commissioner

The Pacific West Conference (PacWest) has hired its next commissioner and it will be a familiar face. Current Senior Associate Commissioner Jessica Harbison Weaver will take over the top job of the conference later this year as she replaces Bob Hogue, who spent 16 years in charge of the PacWest. Weaver will have some new members to deal with as she takes over with 4 NAIA schools – Jessup, Menlo, Vanguard, and Westmont – joining the PacWest over the next two years. The PacWest is made up of 10 schools (will be 14 in 2024) from California and Hawaii.

Division 2 Sports Changes

Alliance University (New York, New York) has decided to discontinue women’s lacrosse effective with the 2023-24 academic year. The program has fallen on tough times with no wins since 2019 and it hasn’t had a winning season in the last decade. Since 2013, the team went a combined 13-75 in conference play and 25-123 overall. Alliance is a full member of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference and the CACC will now fall to 10 schools with women’s lacrosse.

Cal Poly Humboldt (Arcata, California) is planning to bring men’s wrestling as a varsity sport starting with the 2024-25 academic year. The Lumberjacks are a full member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association but will have only one other conference member that sponsors men’s wrestling with San Francisco State. Where the school will compete in wrestling has not been determined but SFSU is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. It was also noted in the report that Cal Poly Humboldt is looking at possibly adding new athletic programs of rodeo, baseball, and women’s golf.

Dominican University (San Rafael, California) will see its men’s and women’s lacrosse teams become Division 2 programs effective with the 2023-24 academic year. Both teams were previously playing as non-NCAA programs and will compete as independents starting in 2023-24. Dominican is a full member of the Pacific West Conference, which does not sponsor either men’s or women’s lacrosse.

Notre Dame College (South Euclid, Ohio) is adding six sports for the 2023-24 academic year. Men’s and women’s track and field (both indoor and outdoor) will be added alongside cross country. The track and field and cross country programs were previously part of Notre Dame College from 2002 through 2018 before they were discontinued. The Falcons are a member of the Mountain East Conference, which sponsors all sports added by NDC.

Quincy University (Quincy, Illinois) is adding STUNT as its next varsity sport and it will begin competition in the 2024-25 academic year. STUNT is the 27th varsity sport for the school, which is a full member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada) has become an affiliate member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in three sports. Men’s and women’s swimming and men’s wrestling will all join the RMAC beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. Simon Fraser is a full member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference but the lack of sponsorship in those sports led SFU to being an independent team in each one. Simon Fraser is also an affiliate of the RMAC in women’s wrestling as the conference is sponsoring that sport for the first time.

Texas A&M-Kingsville (Kingsville, Texas) will add STUNT beginning with the 2024-25 academic year, which will become the school’s 14th varsity sport. Texas A&M-Kingsville is a full member of the Lone Star Conference and four other LSC schools sponsor the sport – Dallas Baptist, Texas Woman’s University, St. Mary’s (TX), and UT Tyler.

Division 3 Berea College Joins New Conference

Berea College (Berea, Kentucky) will be joining the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Berea will play one final season in the Collegiate Conference of the South before becoming the 11th member of the HCAC. The HCAC has its membership located in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, which is slightly more travel friendly than the CCS with fellow schools in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. It’s a tough start for the CCS’ new commissioner Beth Vansant who started the position on June 1.

D3 Sports Changes

The Atlantic East Conference is planning to sponsor varsity women’s flag football beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The AEC will be the first conference in the NCAA across all three divisions to offer the sport and it will begin in the spring of 2025. For 2023-24, the Atlantic East will provide those schools with club-level flag football teams an opportunity to participate in tournaments. The AEC’s first season will feature Centenary (New Jersey), Carbini, Immaculata, Marymount, and Neumann.

Anna Maria College (Paxton, Massachusetts) and Rivier University (Nashua, New Hampshire) will both join the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference in men’s ice hockey starting in 2024-25. Both teams have been hockey independents since they began the sport (Anna Maria in 2018-19 and Rivier in 2021-22). Both schools are full members of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, which does not sponsor hockey.

Alvernia University (Reading, Pennsylvania) will become an affiliate member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) in women’s bowling beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The school previously announced the addition of women’s bowling and the 2023-24 season will be the inaugural competition for the team. Alvernia is a full member of the Middle Atlantic Conference, which does not sponsor the sport. The AMCC will have 11 schools competing in women’s bowling comprised of seven full members from the AMCC and four affiliate members.

Hiram College (Hiram, Ohio) will join the Presidents’ Athletic Conference in men’s volleyball beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The Terriers started men’s volleyball in 2018 and joined the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference as an affiliate member in 2019. Hiram will remain an affiliate member of the AMCC for the 2023-24 academic year. The PAC will begin sponsoring men’s volleyball in 2024-25 for the first time with six members apart from Hiram competing in the sport: Bethany College, Chatham University, Geneva College, Grove City College, Saint Vincent College, and Thiel College. Hiram is a full member of the North Coast Athletic Conference.

Misericordia University (Dallas, Pennsylvania) is yet another school that will add STUNT as a varsity sport. The school will begin competition in 2024-25 and STUNT will be the 29th varsity sport offered by the school. STUNT is becoming quite popular in terms of new sports as there have been three other mentions of it in this article alone (Missouri State, Quincy, and Texas A&M-Kingsville). The Cougars are a full member of the Middle Atlantic Conferences.

Otterbein (Westerville, Ohio) will add women’s wrestling to its varsity sports with competition to begin in the 2024-25 academic year. Women’s wrestling will become the school’s 22nd varsity sport. Otterbein is a full member of the Ohio Athletic Conference but the OAC does not sponsor women’s wrestling. However, that may change if more schools add the sport in addition to Baldwin Wallace, John Carroll, and Otterbein.

Suffolk University (Boston, Massachusetts) is adding women’s lacrosse to its varsity sports programs beginning with the 2025-26 season. Women’s lacrosse will be the university’s 20th varsity sport and 11th women’s sports program. The school is a full member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference, which is where the newly added sport will compete. With the addition of women’s lacrosse, all 10 members of the CC 2025 will offer the sport.

The University of New England (Biddeford, Maine) will add women’s golf beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. It will be the 19th sport offered by the university. UNE is a full member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference, which does not sponsor women’s golf. However, Nichols College and Suffolk University both offer the sport and other schools may add it as well.

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is adding two sports beginning in 2024-25 and both will compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The school is bringing back baseball after it was suspended in 2002 to become the 8th member of the WIAC to offer baseball and will start a men’s soccer team, which will be the 5th WIAC program to offer the sport.

Utica University (Utica, New York) has decided to discontinue 4 athletic programs effective with the 2023-24 academic year. The four casualties of the athletic cuts were men’s tennis, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and women’s water polo. The school cited declining interest in those sports across the US and the Northeast in particular and also noted a costly renovation of the pool if they were to continue water sports. Utica will still have 25 varsity programs at the school.

Nazareth College Becomes Nazareth University

Nazareth College (Pittsford, New York) has rebranded as Nazareth University, effective June 1, 2023. Other than a new school logo, the athletic’s logo and nickname of the Golden Flyers will not be changing. Nazareth is a member of the Empire 8 Conference and will remain there despite this change.

Two Schools Are Brining Back Football

In April, it was reported that Roanoke College (Salem, Virginia) would bring back football and start both cheerleading and a marching band if it hit its fundraising goal by June 1. Well, based on the header of this paragraph, they managed to eclipse the $1.2 million goal they set and plans are in motion to reinstate football. The school raised $1.3 million and football will return as a club sport in 2024 followed by a varsity program in 2025.

The Maroons are a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, which does offer football. Roanoke would become the 9th member to sponsor football. Roanoke will use Salem Stadium – the famed home of the Division 3 National Championship Game from 1993 through 2017 – as its football field. Salem Stadium will also host the D3 title game in 2023.

New England College (Henniker, New Hampshire) will also bring back football beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The Pilgrims are about to leave the New England Collegiate Conference and join the Great Northeast Atletic Conference beginning in 2023-24. However, the GNAC does not sponsor football, which means they will have to find another home for D3 football. The future conference was not disclosed but there will be no shortage of possible destinations including the Commonwealth Coast Conference, Eastern Collegiate Football Conference, or the Landmark Conference.

CCC and SAA Name Next Commissioners

The Commonwealth Coast Conference has named Patrick Colbert as the next commissioner starting on July 17. Colbert will leave his current role as Deputy Commissioner of the Division 1 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) to take over the top spot. Colbert will oversee the transition of Salve Regina (Newport, Connecticut) out of the CCC to the NEWMAC in 2023-24 while Hartford (West Hartford, Connecticut) will join from Division 1 in 2023-24. Also joining the CCC will be Johnson & Wales (Providence, Rhode Island) in 2024-25 from the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The CCC is made up of members from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

The Southern Athletic Association has hired Stacey LaDew as its next Commissioner to lead the conference. LaDew had been the Associate Commissioner of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference since 2019. The SAA is undergoing some membership changes with two schools – Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas) and Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) – joining in 2025-26 as full members. There’s also the matter of Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, Alabama), which has committed to remaining open for the 2023-24 academic year but the long-term future is uncertain for them. The SAA will feature teams from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas starting in 2025.

Stanton University Eyeing NAIA Future

Stanton University (Garden Grove, California) is bringing athletics to campus. The school will begin with club soccer for the 2023-24 academic year but is aiming for varsity and club sports in baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball starting in 2024-25. Stanton will be a dual member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) and the NAIA starting in 2024-25. Stanton will be known as the Fighting Elks and the logical NAIA conference for them to join s the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), which sponsors all of the aforementioned sports and is made up of schools from Arizona and California.

NAIA Sports Changes

Warner Pacific University (Portland, Oregon) has decided to pause the men’s wrestling program for the 2023-24 academic year. The school cited the lack of athletes as the main reason given that WPU had just one athlete on the team in 2022-23. The Knights will have only six varsity sports in 2023-24: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, and women’s volleyball. The school previously eliminated men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s wrestling in August 2021 due to a lack of resources. While WPU paused men’s wrestling, it decided to sponsor Esports beginning in 2023-24.

Image courtesy of Connecticut Athletics

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