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 August 15 and provide updates on 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|
|ASUN||Adding Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving||Yes – 2023-24||N/A||N/A|
|Cal||Possible New Home?||Maybe – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||TBD|
|Central State||Indoor Track & Field to PBC||Yes – 2023-24||Independent (D2)||Peach Belt (D2)|
|Conference Carolinas||New Divisions for Select Sports||No||N/A||N/A|
|Connecticut||Big 12 Invite Not Imminent||No||N/A||N/A|
|Georgia Southern||New Conference for Women’s Swimming & Diving||Yes – 2023-24||CCSA (D1)||Sun Belt (D1)|
|Gonzaga||Big 12 Invite Not Imminent||No||N/A||N/A|
|Great Midwest Athletic Conference||New Streaming Partnership||No||N/A||N/A|
|Huntingdon||Adding Women’s Flag Football||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||TBD (D3)|
|James Madison||New Conference for Women’s Swimming & Diving||Yes – 2023-24||CCSA (D1)||Sun Belt (D1)|
|Jamestown (ND)||Applied for NSIC Membership||Maybe||N/A||N/A|
|Marshall||New Conference for Women’s Swimming & Diving||Yes – 2023-24||MVC (D1)||Sun Belt (D1)|
|Missouri Valley College||Adding STUNT||Yes – 2023-24||N/A||USA Cheer (Non-NAIA)|
|MVFC||Extends Streaming Deal with ESPN||No||N/A||N/A|
|NSIC||Extends Deal With Hudl||No||N/A||N/A|
|Old Dominion||New Conference for Women’s Swimming & Diving||Yes – 2023-24||CCSA (D1)||Sun Belt (D1)|
|Oregon State||Possible New Home?||Maybe – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||TBD|
|Penn State Altoona||Adding Women’s Golf||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||TBD (D3)|
|Pittsburg State||Adding Women’s Soccer||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||MIAA (D2)|
|Schreiner University||Joining SLIAC for Wrestling||Yes – 2023-24||Independent (D3)||SLIAC (D3)|
|SMU||Possible New Home?||Maybe – 2024-25||AAC (D1)||TBD|
|Soka University||Adding Men’s Golf||Yes – 2023-24||N/A||Cal Pac (NAIA)|
|Stanford||Possible New Home?||Maybe – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||TBD|
|Sun Belt||Adding Women’s Swimming & Diving||Yes – 2023-24||N/A||N/A|
|SUNY Brockport||Joining Empire 8||Yes – 2024-25||SUNYAC (D3)||Empire 8 (D3)|
|SUNY Geneseo||Joining Empire 8||Yes – 2024-25||SUNYAC (D3)||Empire 8 (D3)|
|University of Ozarks||Joining SLIAC for Wrestling||Yes – 2023-24||Southeast (D3)||SLIAC (D3)|
|Washington State||Possible New Home?||Maybe – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||TBD|
|Western Washington||No D1 or Football In Future||No||N/A||N/A|
Remaining Pac-12 Teams (Plus SMU) Have New Homes?
It may not be long until California, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State join new conferences but nothing is confirmed. Cal and Stanford are heavily rumored to be headed to the ACC at a reduced media rights rate (30%) alongside SMU, which will tag along for the bargain of no media revenue for the first 7 years. However, none of the original four members originally against the expansion idea – Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, and NC State – have changed their minds yet. An ACC presidents’ call was scheduled for August 28 to vote on the addition of Cal, SMU, and Stanford but that changed following a shooting on campus at North Carolina. The ACC presidents are slated to meet and vote on expansion on Friday, September 1.
As for Oregon State and Washington State, they are being considered by the American Athletic and Mountain West Conferences. Neither school appears to be close to joining the MW or AAC as they are waiting on a decision from the ACC regarding Cal and Stanford. There is also the possibility that the Pac-12 remains afloat with the current four schools along with new additions. In either scenario, there are significant changes ahead for Oregon State and Washington State.
Connecticut and Gonzaga to the Big 12 Not Happening For Now
The previously rumored additions of Connecticut and Gonzaga to the Big 12 will not happen according to Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark. Yormark indicated adding the two schools was a backup plan and the additions of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah were the preferred options. For now, Connecticut will remain in the Big East with football as an FBS independent and Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference.
Missouri Valley Football Conference Keeps Streaming Deal With ESPN
The Missouri Valley Football Conference will continue to stream its football games on the ESPN networks with an extended five-year deal through the 2029 football season. As part of the agreement, the MVFC will be featured at least 9 times on the linear channels of ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU. In addition, eight games will be shown on ESPN+ as part of the “Game of the Week” package that is part of the current deal. The MVFC has 12 members for 2023 and that will decrease to 11 in 2024 with Western Illinois moving to the Ohio Valley Conference.
D1 Sports Changes
The ASUN is adding men’s and women’s swimming & diving effective with the 2023-24 academic year. The men’s membership will feature Bellarmine, Florida Atlantic, Gardner-Webb, Old Dominion, SMU, and Queens. The women’s membership will feature Bellarmine, Florida Gulf Coast, Gardner-Webb, Liberty, North Florida, Queens, and UNC Asheville.
The Sun Belt Conference is also adding women’s swimming & diving effective with the 2023-24 academic year. Four programs – Georgia Southern, James Madison, Marshall, and Old Dominion – will compete in the first swimming & diving season for the Sun Belt banner since 2013. The trio of Georgia Southern, James Madison, and Old Dominion previously competed in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) while Marshall was a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. The return of women’s swimming & diving puts the Sun Belt at 20 sponsored sports.
No Football or Division 1 Plans for Western Washington
There are no plans for Western Washington University (Bellingham, Washington) to bring back football or attempt to move to Division 1, according to the athletic director Jim Sterk in an interview with Cascadia Daily. The football program was shut down following the 2008 season due to costs and a lack of geographically close travel partners. Those issues remain 15 years later, particularly with travel partners. WWU is a full member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC), which no longer sponsors football. Only two GNAC schools – Central Washington and Eastern Oregon – sponsor football following Simon Fraser’s decision to drop its football team earlier in 2023. A map showing all the D2 football programs from 2022 is a stark reminder of the difficulties for any teams West of Colorado.
D2 Sports Changes
Central State (Wilberforce, Ohio) will join the Peach Belt Conference as an associate member for indoor track & field, effective with the 2023-24 academic year. The addition of Central State gives the PBC six members for indoor track & field including Clayton State, Embry-Riddle, Flagler, Lander, and South Carolina Beaufort for the upcoming academic year. Central State is a full member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). However, the SIAC doesn’t sponsor indoor track & field and Central State previously competed as an independent team.
The Conference Carolinas will implement a new three-division model beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. Schools will be divided into either the East, Northwest, or Southwest divisions in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, and women’s volleyball. Tournament seeding will not be based on a division record. The divisions will be split as follows:
East: Barton, Chowan, Francis Marion, Mount Olive, and UNC Pembroke
Northwest: Belmont Babbey, Cnverse, King, and Lees-McRae
Southwest: Emmanuel, Erskine, North Greenville, Southern Wesleyan, and Young Harris (Shorter will join the Southwest division in 2024-25 and North Greenville will move to the Northwest division).
Pittsburg State (Pittsburg, Kansas) is adding women’s soccer to its varsity sports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The Gorillas are a full member of the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association. With women’s soccer added to the lineup, Pitt State will have 13 varsity programs and will also be the 13th member of the MIAA to offer the sport.
Division 2 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Has a New Streaming Home
The Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) has a new streaming deal with Hudl that will begin with the 2023-24 academic year. The G-MAC is moving all home games from its digital network to Hudl and the press release notes that all home games will be free to watch. Non-conference matchups may not be on Hudl due to other streaming rights contracts. The G-MAC is the latest conference to have a new streaming deal.
Jamestown Applies for Northern Sun Membership
The University of Jamestown (Jamestown, North Dakota) has applied for membership in the Division 2 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference according to Inforum. Jamestown is currently a member of the NAIA and a full member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). If Jamestown is added, the NSIC will have 16 full members while the GPAC would fall to 11. The NSIC is comprised of schools from Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Currently, Jamestown is the northernmost member of the GPAC with schools from Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The GPAC also has three affiliate schools for men’s volleyball from Kansas. A decision on whether to invite Jamestown is expected by the end of 2023.
In other NSIC news, they have extended their streaming contract with Hudl through the 2025-26 academic year. All regular season contests are streamed for free on Hudl along with some championships. Earlier in August 2023, the NSIC announced that part or all of baseball, indoor track & field, softball, and volleyball championships would move behind a paywall starting with 2023-24.
D3 Sports Changes
Huntingdon College (Montgomery, Alabama) is adding women’s flag football to its sports offerings beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. It is not yet known which conference Huntingdon will compete in. The Hawks are a full member of the Collegiate Conference of the South.
Penn State Altoona is adding women’s golf beginning with the 2024-25 academic year, which will bring the number of sponsored sports to 17. Penn State Altoona previously sponsored women’s golf in the mid-2000s but individual golfers have qualified for conference championships since then. Penn State Altoona is a member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC). The AMCC does not sponsor women’s golf and it is not known which conference Penn State Altoona will join.
The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) is adding Schreiner University (Kerrville, Texas) and the University of the Ozarks (Clarksville, Arkansas) as affiliate members in wrestling for the 2023-24 academic year. The move will include men’s and women’s programs from both schools. Schreiner and Ozarks will join Blackburn, Eureka, Fontbonne, Lyon, and Westminster in the inaugural SLIAC wrestling season. Ozarks is moving over from the D3 Southeast Conference while Schreiner previously competed as an independent.
Division 3: Two SUNY Schools Headed to Empire 8
Two State University of New York schools are joining the Empire 8 Conference in 2024-25. SUNY Brockport and SUNY Geneseo will leave the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYC) to become members of the Empire 8. The press release was careful to note the 2024-25 academic year is the anticipated date for the two schools to move. Brockport is already an affiliate of the Empire 8 in football. The additions would bring the Empire 8 to 11 full members and put the SUNYAC at 8 full members, assuming no additional realignment changes happen prior to 2024-25.
NAIA Sports Changes
Missouri Valley College (Marshall, Missouri) is adding STUNT to its varsity sports offerings beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. Adding STUNT brings the total number of sports offered by MVC to 31. The STUNT team will compete against NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA programs at various competitions. The Vikings are a full member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
Soka University (Aliso Viejo, California) is adding men’s golf effective with the 2023-24 academic year. It will be the 10th sport offered by the Lions and the school already has a women’s program. Soka is a member of the California Pacific Conference (Cal Pac) and they will join current members Benedictine-Mesa, Cal Maritime, Embry-Riddle (AZ), Park-Gilbert, Providence Christian, and Simpson as conference members that sponsor men’s golf.
KCAC Names New Commissioner
The Kansas Collegiate Atheltic Conference (KCAC) has a new commissioner with Ted Breidenthal taking over the top spot. Breidenthal will leave his post as commissioner of the Continental Athletic Conference, which is made up of the NAIA’s independent schools. Breidenthal will also be taking over for Scott Crawford who left the KCAC’s commissioner post to take over the same position with the Frontier Conference.
Photo courtesy of Cal Athletics