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 July 31 and provide updates on some previously discussed topics. As a reminder, all official moves starting with the 2023-24 academic year can be found here while anything happening in 2024-25 or later can be found here.
We’ll break out the reports for each Division in the following order: Division 1, Division 2, Division 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 Item||Realignment Change / Effective Year||Current Conference||New Conference|
|Albany||Adding Women’s Rowing||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||TBD (D1)|
|Arizona||Leaving Pac-12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Arizona State||Leaving Pac-12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Baker (KS)||New Conference for Flag Football||Yes – 2023-24||N/A||KCAC (NAIA)|
|Bethany College||Adding Women’s Wrestling||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||Independent (D3)|
|Bryant||Moving to CAA||Yes – 2024-25||Big South/OVC (D1)||CAA (D1)|
|Coast Guard||Rebranding/New Logos||No||N/A||N/A|
|Dominican (NY)||Dropping Women’s Golf||Yes – 2023-24||Independent (D2)||N/A|
|GLVC||New Streaming Deal||No||N/A||N/A|
|Haverford||Squash Moving to Liberty League||Yes – 2023-24||CSA||Liberty League (D3)|
|Indiana Kokomo||Esports joining NECC||Yes – 2023-24||N/A||NECC (D3)|
|Lincoln College||Coming Back?||Maybe -TBD||N/A||N/A|
|Lynchburg||Adding Men’s Volleyball||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||ODAC (D3)|
|MIAA (D2)||2022-23 Streaming Revenues Report||No||N/A||N/A|
|MIAC||New Streaming Platform||No||N/A||N/A|
|Montreat||Adding Cycling||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||NCCA (Non-NAIA)|
|Mount Holyoke||Squash Moving to Liberty League||Yes – 2023-24||CSA||Liberty League (D3)|
|Notre Dame||New Apparel Deal||No||N/A||N/A|
|NSIC||New Streaming Deal||No||N/A||N/A|
|Oklahoma Baptist||New Streaming Partner||No||N/A||N/A|
|Oregon||Leaving Pac-12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big Ten (D1)|
|Patriot League||Extending Media Rights Deal with CBSSN||No||N/A||N/A|
|Peach Belt||Will Sponsor Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track & Field||Yes – 2023-24||N/A||Peach Belt (D2)|
|Pioneer Football Leauge||New Commissioner||No||N/A||N/A|
|Randolph College||Adding Wrestling||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||Men: ODAC (D3)
Women: Independent (D3)
|Summit League||New TV Rights Deal||No||N/A||N/A|
|SUNY Cobleskill||Cutting Swimming & Diving||Yes – 2023-24||NAC (D3)||N/A|
|Utah||Leaving Pac-12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Washington||Leaving Pac-12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big Ten (D1)|
|Washington College||Adding 2 New Sports||Yes – 2025-26||N/A||Centennial (D3)|
|Wayne State||New Streaming Deal||No||N/A||N/A|
|West Coast Conference||Extends Media Deal with ESPN||No||N/A||N/A|
|Wheaton College (MA)||Adding Men’s Volleyball||Yes – 2025-26||N/A||NEWMAC (D3)|
Pac-12 Exodus; Conference Fate Unknown
There are very few moments (if any?) that can rival what occurred on August 3 and 4. In the span of 24 hours, five schools announced departures from the Pac-12 to other Power 5 Conferences. While Colorado left the Pac-12 for the Big 12 in late July, Arizona made the same decision on August 3. The next day, Oregon and Washington left for the Big Ten followed by Arizona State and Utah to the Big 12 later in the evening of August 4.
The Pac-12 is in shambles with only four current members: California, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State. What happens to the Pac-12 or where they go from here is the key question, whether that’s a merger or they attempt to poach schools in the American Athletic, Mountain West, or elsewhere. The Big Ten is up to 18 members and the Big 12 is at 16. All five departures will occur effective with the 2024-25 academic year.
There have been endless rumors of where the last four Pac-12 teams will end up. The ACC was reported as a possible destination but Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, and North Carolina State ended those conversations for now. The ACC requires 75% of members (12 or more) to expand and it’s not surprising to see FSU among the dissenters. FSU is seeking a way out of the ACC’s Grant of Rights amidst the Big Ten and SEC’s latest TV contracts that leaving the ACC further behind them.
Bryant Joining CAA For Football
Bryant University is on the move again. The Bulldogs are leaving the Big South-OVC Football Association after this year and joining the CAA as a football-only member beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The addition of Bryant will give the CAA 16 football teams as they attempt to kickstart the FCS super conference trend seen in the FBS (sarcasm alert). Bryant previously joined the Big South in 2022 and given the membership issues that the conference has seen, it’s not a big surprise the school opted to follow the well-traveled Big South to CAA route. Bryant is a full member of the America East Conference but the AEC doesn’t sponsor football leading to Bryant’s football-only affiliate status.
Notre Dame Signs Apparel Deal
Notre Dame has signed a new apparel deal according to Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports. The Fighting Irish will remain with Under Armour for a reported $100 million over 10 years, which is believed to be the top apparel contract in college athletics. The previous deal was worth $90 million over 10 years. The Notre Dame brand is still highly sought after and the apparel deal shows that the school’s upcoming TV rights may be will more lucrative than ever before. Some estimates have Notre Dame bringing in $50 to $100 million per year under a new media deal.
Three Division 1 Conferences Sign Media Deals
The Patriot League and the CBS Sports Network have extended their partnership with the announcement of a new multi-year deal. Figures weren’t released but the deal will require CBSSN to broadcast at least 24 live events each year including the semifinals and championships games in men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse. In addition, they’ll also show the championship games for women’s basketball and women’s lacrosse. The Patriot League and CBS Sports Network have been partners for 20 years.
This is a recurring theme for this realignment report as the Summit League has a new TV rights deal. The conference will have national exposure on CBS Sports Network and launch its digital network through Midco. The new network will be called the Summit League Network and subscriptions will be priced at $9.99 per month or $79.99 for the entire year. CBSSN has guaranteed that at least six of the Summit League’s men’s basketball games will be televised nationally beginning with the upcoming 2023-24 season.
The West Coast Conference also announced an extension of its media deal with ESPN and CBS Sports Network. Over 25 events will be shown on ESPN’s linear channels with another 900 live events to be shown on ESPN+. CBSSN will show as many as 12 regular-season men’s basketball events each year. No monetary figures were released for these media rights deals.
D1 Sports Changes
The University at Albany (Albany, New York) will add women’s rowing beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Women’s rowing will be the 19th sport offered by the school. Albany is a full member of the America East Conference, which does not sponsor the sport. It is not yet known which conference Albany will join but there exist several options including the CAA and MAAC, both of which Albany is an affiliate of in other sports (CAA for football and MAAC for women’s lacrosse).
Pioneer Football League Has a New Commissioner
The Pioneer Football League has named Greg Walter as the next commissioner, effective August 1, 2023. Walter has previously served as the PFL’s associate commissioner since 2013 under the leadership of Patty Viverito. Viverito was the previous commissioner of the PFL since 1993 and will remain with the PFL as an advisor. Walter was also named the associate commissioner for the Ohio Valley Conference for baseball, basketball, and football effective on August 2, 2023. The PFL is the only non-scholarship and football-only conference at the FCS level.
D2 Sports Changes
Dominican University (Orangeburg, New York) has decided to drop women’s effective immediately. The school did not provide a reason for the change. Dominican is adding three sports for the 2023-24 academic year with the introduction of men’s volleyball, women’s bowling, and women’s rowing. That will bring the number of varsity sports up to 19 for the university. Dominican is a full member of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference and the women’s golf program competed as an independent.
The Peach Belt Conference will begin sponsoring men’s and women’s indoor track & field beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The sponsorship of those two sports will raise the total number of Peach Belt-sponsored sports to 18. Clayton State, Flagler College, Lander, South Carolina Beaufort, and affiliate member Embry-Riddle will compete in the inaugural indoor track & field championships.
Two Division 2 Conferences Announce Digital Streaming Options
The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) has taken a step into the media rights market by putting certain sports and championship behind a paywall in a deal with Hudl. The conference announced three options with more information to follow. The three current options are one broadcast for $10, a sports pass for women’s volleyball for $50, $75 for the combination of football and men’s and women’s basketball, or $100 for all four sports. The cost for each championship broadcast was not detailed but it will vary depending on the sport.
The GLVC is not the only conference to go the digital streaming route. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference will put select championships behind a paywall for the first time in 2023-24. The NSIC confirmed that baseball, indoor track & field, softball, and volleyball are some of the sports that will become pay-per-view on Hudl. The NISC already sold its rights to the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments to Midco Sports in July 2023.
MIAA Reports Digital Streaming Revenue for the 2022-23 Academic Year
If you’re wondering if these digital streaming deals are worth it outside D1, let’s take a look at the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in Division 2. For the 2021-22 academic year, the MIAA reported “under” $500,000 in revenue and over $1 million in gross receipts as part of its new digital streaming deal with Hudl. For 2022-23, they reported “over” $500,000 in revenue and more than $2 million in gross receipts. The MIAA reported a 27% increase over the 2021-22 academic year in revenue distribution but did not provide a specific number.
Let’s assume the MIAA averaged $500,000 for each of the previous two academic years. With 14 full members, each school would have received over $35,000 in revenue each year as part of the streaming deal. These are only ballpark numbers but is that amount worth it? Compared to the gigantic deals we’ve seen in the FBS, no. But in D2, that $35,000 might be enough to keep two or three programs around that would otherwise not survive without the streaming revenue.
Oklahoma Baptist and Wayne State Sign New Streaming Deal
Speaking of Hudl, they have signed a new streaming deal with Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, Oklahoma). OBU will offer both pay-per-view and free-to-view content as part of the deal and is called the Bison Sports Network. The 2023-24 academic year will have seven sports as part of the PPV option (baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, softball, women’s soccer, and volleyball). Prices will range from $10 for a single day to $125 for the all-access pass. OBU is a full member of the Great American Conference and it will be interesting to see if additional schools follow the same subscription model of putting content on a streaming platform.
Wayne State (Detroit, Michigan) also announced a new streaming deal with FloSports for select sports beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. Baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, softball, and volleyball will all be shown behind the FloSports paywall. Swimming & diving and tennis will not be shown on FloSports and remain on Wayne State’s Warrior All-Access platform.
D3 Sports Changes
Bethany College (Bethany, West Virginia) will add another new sport. The college announced it will add women’s wrestling beginning with the 2024-25 academic year, which will be the 23rd varsity sport sponsored by the Bison. Bethany announced earlier in 2023 the addition of acrobatics & tumbling and men’s volleyball with both sports beginning competition in 2024-25. Bethany College is a full member of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.
The Liberty League will welcome Haverford College (Haverford, Pennsylvania) and Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, Massachusetts) to the conference as associate members in Squash. Haverford is bringing both men’s and women’s teams over while Mount Holyoke will see only its women’s program move to the Liberty League. Both schools’ housed their squash teams in the Collegiate Squash Association prior to moving to the Liberty League.
The University of Lynchburg (Lynchburg, Virginia) is adding men’s volleyball beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Men’s volleyball will mark the 26th varsity sport offered by the university. Lynchburg will play in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in men’s volleyball, which is also the conference the Hornets are a full member. They will be the 7th ODAC team to sponsor men’s volleyball with the ODAC sponsoring the sport beginning in 2024-25. The ODAC will be comprised of Averett, Eastern Mennonite, Lynchburg, Randolph, Randolph-Macon, Roanoke, and Virginia Wesleyan.
Randolph College (Lynchburg, Virginia) will add men’s and women’s wrestling starting with the 2024-25 academic year, which will bring the total number of sports offered to 22. Randolph is a full member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, which currently sponsors men’s wrestling. The ODAC doesn’t sponsor women’s wrestling meaning the Randolph squad will need to find another conference or compete as an independent.
SUNY Cobleskill (Cobleskill, New York) has decided to cut its swimming and diving programs. Both the men’s and women’s teams will be discontinued immediately. As noted by SwimSwam, Cobleskill closed the pool in 2022 and didn’t field a team for 2022-23. Now that decision is permanent and the sixth in the state of New York. Cobleskill is a full member of the North Atlantic Conference.
Washington College (Chestertown, Maryland) is adding two new sports beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. The college will add cross-country and track & field to its list of sports offerings. Both sports will spend the 2024-25 academic year as club sports in preparation for the jump to varsity the following year. Washington is a full member of the Centennial Conference, which sponsors both cross-country and track & field.
Wheaton College (Norton, Massachusetts) will add men’s volleyball starting with the 2025-26 academic year. Wheaton is a full member of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and will be the 4th member of the conference to add men’s volleyball after Emerson, MIT, and Springfield. Men’s volleyball is the 26th varsity sport offered by the college and is the latest in a string of recent additions. The Lyons also added fencing and water polo with both sports offering men’s and women’s teams.
The Coast Guard Rebrands
The United States Coast Guard Academy (New London, Connecticut) has a new set of logos. The Coast Guard keeps the blue and orange colors but has made the racing stripe more prominent as well as updating the Bear logo. The Bears are a full member of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) while the sailing team is a member of the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA).
MIAC Starts New Streaming Platform
The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) launched a new streaming platform for its athletic events. The MIAC will partner with Hudl and BlueFrame Technology to launch the aptly named MIAC Sports Network. As of right now, there is no cost to watch the streaming events although that may change in the near future as witnessed by the numerous conferences that are beginning to paywall certain events.
NAIA Sports Changes
Baker University (Baldwin City, Kansas) will be joining the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) in women’s flag football effective with the 2023-24 academic year. 2023 will be the inaugural season for Baker’s flag football team. The KCAC will have nine teams competing in 2023-24 for women’s flag football: Baker, Bethel (KS), Cottey, Graceland, Kansas Wesleyan, Midland, Ottawa, Saint Mary (KS), and Southwestern (KS).
Indiana Kokomo will join the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) in Esports beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. Even though IUK is a full member of the NAIA River States Conference, they will be joining the Division 3 NECC as Esports are not governed by the NCAA allowing for schools from every division as well as non-NCAA members.
Montreat College (Montreat, North Carolina) is adding cycling to its sponsored sports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The college will only have the mountain biking discipline to start the program with plans to add more disciplines later. They will compete in the National Collegiate Cycling Association since the NAIA doesn’t sponsor cycling. Montreat is a full member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
NAIA Lincoln College Coming Back?
Lincoln College (Lincoln, Illinois) may be coming back. Or maybe not depending on who is asked. In July, the mayor of Lincoln – Tracy Welch – announced the school is planning to reopen. Welch did not provide a timetable for a return. However, the Illinois Board of Higher Education said it has not received an application for Lincoln College to resume operations. From a neutral perspective, it seems as if the city wanted to announce the news and then follow up with the paperwork later, which makes sense if no timeline was given.
Lincoln College had the unfortunate experience of suffering a cyberattack in December 2021 that played a role in the college’s ultimate closure in May 2022. At the time of closing, Lincoln was a member of the NAIA’s Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and it would make sense for them to return there. It must be noted that the lack of details on the re-opening of the school means it is not confirmed if athletics are also returning. It would make sense to bring back athletics to increase student enrollment (i.e. more tuition dollars) but this is only the early stages of a potential return.
Image courtesy of Utah Athletics