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 June 15 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 (none for this time frame). 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
Alliance UniversitySchool ClosingYes – 2023-24CACC (D2)N/A
American Southwest ConferenceNamed New CommissionerNoN/AN/A
Arkansas-Fort SmithJoining MIAAYes – 2024-25Lone Star (D2)MIAA (D2)
Birmingham-SouthernSet to Remain Open Long-TermNoN/AN/A
Bob Jones UniversityLeaving NCAAYes – 2023-24Independent (D3)NCCAA
Bryn AthynCSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
Cabrini UniversitySold to VillanovaYes – 2024-25Atlantic East (D3)N/A
CairnCSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
Cedar CrestCSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
Clarks SummitCSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
East Tennessee StateDropping Men’s Indoor TrackYes – 2023-24SoCon (D1)N/A
Future FCS to FBS TeamsRequirements Changing?Not yetFCS (D1)FBS (D1)
KeystoneCSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
MisericordiaAdding Men’s and Women’s WrestlingYes – 2024-25N/AM: MAC (D3)
W: Independent (D3)
North Dakota StateFBS Rumors Heating Up AgainNoN/AN/A
Notre Dame (MD)CSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
Oklahoma ChristianWomen’s Bowling Moved to Varsity StatusYes – 2023-24N/AIndependent (D1/D2)
Ouachita BaptistWrestling Joining MIAAYes – 2023-24GLVC (D2)MIAA (D2)
Pratt InstituteJoining Atlantic EastYes – 2024-25C2C (D3)Atlantic East (D3)
RosemontCSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
Saint ElizabethCSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
San Diego StatePlans to Leave MWC? Or Not?Maybe?N/AN/A
Seattle PacificHuge Academic Budget CutsNoN/AN/A
South FloridaAdjusting Beach Volleyball StartYes – 2025-26N/ATBD (D1)
Tennessee StateAdding HockeyYes – 2024-25N/ATBD (D1)
Valley ForgeCSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
WilsonCSAC Merging With UECYes – 2023-24CSAC (D3)United East (D3)
Wisconsin-Stevens PointAdding Men’s SoccerYes – 2024-25N/AWIAC (D3)
XavierFootball Returning?NoN/AN/A

San Diego State Plans to Leave Mountain West… Then Reverses Course

San Diego State gave the Mountain West Conference notice that it will leave the conference according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel. SDSU does not have an invitation from another conference… yet. The Aztecs have been linked to the Big 12 and Pac-12 Conferences numerous times in our Realignment Report as noted here, here, and here. It wouldn’t be realignment without someone denying it as reported by Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated. Apparently, the Aztecs aren’t going anywhere and this was again confirmed by Pete Thamel. All that posturing for nothing. Welcome to realignment, everyone.

Are FBS Membership Requirements Changing?

The NCAA is looking at numerous changes for institutions that wish to become Football Bowl Subdivision members. One of the changes would be increasing the entry requirement from $5,000 to $5 million as reported by CollegeAD prior to the NCAA’s press release. Additional requirements would be providing 90% of the allowable scholarships over a two-year rolling period for at least 16 sports with a minimum total of $6 million. The changes would take effect with the 2027-28 academic year. One requirement that would be removed is the attendance requirement. Schools are required to have an average of 15,000 in attendance over a two-year rolling period. The proposals will be voted on at a later date, likely in early 2024.

Opinion time: The one-time fee of $5 million, which would be effective immediately for any additional teams that want to move to the FBS, is not that big of a deterrent. Schools that are deadset on the move will do so no matter the up-front cost. The real deterrent here is the recurring cost of maintaining additional staff. FCS to FBS transitions already faced the uphill battle of higher salaries for support staff but under this proposal, the annual costs would climb even higher.

Is Xavier Football Coming Back?

Xavier athletic director Greg Christopher recently had an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jason Williams regarding the state of the athletic department. Naturally, one of the topics that came up was football and the possibility it could return to the school. The short answer? Maybe. Christopher went on record to say the return of football makes sense on paper but the real issue is finding a stadium to play in. Christopher said a decision on football will be made by the end of 2023.

Xavier football started in 1900 and played its most recent game in 1973. The school cited the $200,000 loss in 1973 as the reason for cutting the sport but there’s no doubt the administration knows the cost of running a program in 2024 or beyond will be much higher. Since Xavier is a member of the Big East, which does not sponsor football, they will need to find a new home. Xavier AD Christopher specifically mentioned Butler and Dayton as a comparison for the school in the interview. Butler and Dayton both play in the FCS Pioneer Football League, which does not offer scholarships. If they want to keep costs low and try to bring in a full roster, the PFL is a logical destination.

North Dakota State To FBS Rumors Ramp Up… Yet Again

FCS juggernaut North Dakota State is being linked with a possible move to the Mountain West if San Diego State leaves as expected. NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen went on record to say he has not been contacted by the MWC and isn’t aware of anyone that has been. The article looked at many scenarios from the MWC to the American Athletic and even Conference USA. The takeaway? Nothing’s really changed. We’ve looked at NDSU more closely on this site and while we still think NDSU doesn’t have a great fit that benefits all the schools, it is becoming increasingly more likely they will move to FBS eventually.

D1 Sports Changes

East Tennessee State has decided to drop its men’s indoor track and field program effectively immediately. There will be no other changes to either men’s or women’s other track and field programs. The school cited shifting Title IX requirements concurrent with the changes in enrollment in which women are enrolling as a higher percentage of the student body than men. ETSU is a full member of the Southern Conference.

South Florida has set a new timeline for its inaugural beach volleyball season. The school announced the new sport in February 2022 and originally had a 2024-25 academic year start. The new timeline will push it back a year to the 2025-26 academic year. USF is part of the American Athletic Conference, which does not sponsor beach volleyball and its current affiliate conference for the sport is to be determined.

Tennessee State will become the first HBCU to add hockey. The Tigers will start a men’s club hockey team beginning in 2024-25 with the aim of reaching NCAA varsity status in the future. The school also hopes to start a women’s team although no timetable is set for that. TSU is a full member of the Ohio Valley Conference, which does not sponsor the sport. Only one other OVC school – Lindenwood – offers men’s and women’s ice hockey programs.

Division 2 Seattle Pacific Facing Budget Crunch

Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, Washington) announced a steep cut of 40% for its academic programs by laying off faculty at the school. Athletics were not impacted at this time but given the serious nature of the layoffs, some sports may not be far behind. The issue is not a new one as it was addressed many previous times including an October 2022 article in the school’s newspaper The Falcon that laid out these exact measures.

Seattle Pacific is a full member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and sponsors just 10 sports: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s track and field, women’s rowing, and women’s volleyball. In 2020, the school cut one of the more historically successful programs in women’s gymnastics.

Alliance University Closing

Alliance University (New York, New York) is shutting its doors after it lost accreditation in late June. The school will cease all activities on August 31, 2023. Alliance was a full member of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference having joined in 1961 as a founding member. The CACC will have 12 members for the 2023-24 academic year.

Arkansas-Fort Smith Leaving Lone Star Conference

Arkansas-Fort Smith (Fort Smith, Arkansas) is set to leave the Lone Star Conference to join the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. UAFS joining the MIAA will help offset the loss of Lincoln (Missouri), which will join the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The MIAA will be comprised of 14 members from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

D2 Sports Changes

Oklahoma Christian University (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) is moving its women’s bowling team to varsity status effective with the 2023-24 academic year. It will be the school’s 16th varsity program. The Lady Eagles will start their NCAA journey as a Division 2 independent team. Oklahoma Christian is a full member of the Lone Star Conference.

Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Arkansas) will change conferences in men’s wrestling effective with the 2023-24 academic year. The Tigers will leave the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) as an associate member and join the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) in the same capacity. OBU is a full member of the Great American Conference but they are the only school in the GAC to offer wrestling.

Division 3 Pratt Institute Changing Conference

The Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, New York) is joining the Atlantic East Conference beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The Cannoneers will leave the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference and join the AEC membership that is largely focused in the mid-Atlantic area of the US. Pratt completed a 4-year transition to the NCAA Division 3 level after the 2021-22 academic year and was a member of the C2C starting with the 2020-21 academic year.

Cabrini University Sold

Cabrini University (Radnor, Pennsylvania) is being sold to Villanova University in the neighboring city of Philadelphia. Cabrini will have one final academic year in 2023-24 before operations are complete and any remaining students will become part of Villanova. The Cavaliers are a full member of the Atlantic East Conference, which had announced the addition of Pratt Institute the day before the news of the Cabrini sale was announced. The AEC will have 7 schools beginning in 2024-25 as of this posting: Centenary (NJ), Gwynedd Mercy, Immaculata, Marymount, Marywood, Neumann, and Pratt Institute.

Bob Jones Leaving NCAA

Bob Jones University (Greenville, South Carolina) has decided to abandon its current transition into the NCAA just as the school was set to become a full member. The school began its transition from the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) to the NCAA Division 3 in 2020-21 and its provisional membership was to be reviewed after the current academic year. The Bruins competed as an independent and have been unable to secure membership to a conference. The school will return to the NCCAA.

Two Division 3 Conferences Complete Merger

The long-awaited merger between the Colonial State Athletic Conference (CSAC) and United East Conference (UEC) is almost complete. The 10 members of the CSAC will fold into the UEC to form a 17-member conference beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The newly merged conferences will keep the United East Conference name. 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.

American Southwest Conference Names New Commissioner

The American Southwest Conference has a new commissioner: David Flores. Flores leaves his post as the Vice President for Governance with the Big 12 to take over the top spot in the ASC and he will have a huge challenge on his hands. The conference is about to lose 4 of its 10 schools in the coming years and no new members are on the way. Concordia (Austin, Texas), McMurry (Abilene, Texas), University of the Ozarks (Clarksville, Arkansas), and Sul Ross State (Alpine, Texas) will leave the ASC. Three affiliates in football – Austin (Sherman, Texas), Southwestern (Georgetown, Texas), and Texas Lutheran (Seguin, Texas) – are also exiting for different conferences.

That will result in only six schools with only four of those that sponsor football. East Texas Baptist (Marshall, Texas), Hardin-Simmons (Abilene, Texas), Howard Payne (Brownwood, Texas), LeTourneau (Longview, Texas), Mary Hardin-Baylor (Belton, Texas), and Texas-Dallas (Richardson, Texas) with LeTourneau and Texas-Dallas as the two schools without football. Flores will be tasked with finding new members or arranging an agreement because Hardin-Simmons and Mary Hardin-Baylor will not sit idle if they don’t have access to an automatic qualifying bid to the Division 3 football playoffs.

D3 Sports Changes

Misericordia University (Dallas, Pennsylvania) is back in the news as it will add both men’s and women’s wrestling to its varsity sports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The Cougars previously announced they would add STUNT and men’s ice hockey in the previous months. Misericordia is a full member of the Middle Atlantic Conference, which sponsors men’s wrestling but not women’s. As such, the men’s team will compete in the MAC but the women’s program will be an independent.

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is adding men’s soccer to its varsity sports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. UWSP will become the 6th member of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to add men’s soccer following the existing programs of UW-Eau Claire, UW-Platteville, and UW-Whitewater as well as the new programs recently started by UW-River Falls and UW-Stout.

Birmingham-Southern Gets Lifeline

The state of Alabama has given Birmingham-Southern a shot at staving off closure with a new law. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a new law that will create a loan program for public and private schools with financial issues a path to secure loans. The program will begin with $30 million and BSC is likely to get a portion of that to help the school going forward. BSC was close to shutting its doors in early 2023 but a fundraising push from donors helped the school commit to a fall 2023 semester. Birmingham-Southern is a founding member of the Southern Athletic Association, which began athletic competition in 2012. The SAA is welcoming two new full-member schools in 2025 when Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas) and Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) leave the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Photo courtesy of San Diego State University Athletics

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