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 October 31 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|
|Arizona||Beach Volleyball to Big 12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Arizona||Facing Budget Issues||Possibly – TBD||N/A||N/A|
|Arizona State||Beach Volleyball to Big 12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Arizona State||Women’s Lacrosse to Big 12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Birmingham-Southern||Set to Stay Open for 2023-24||No||N/A||N/A|
|Bradley||Not Considering Athletics Changes||No||N/A||N/A|
|California||Beach Volleyball to MPSF||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||MPSF (D1)|
|Carleton College||Cancels Women’s Basketball Season||Yes – 2023-24||MIAC (D3)||MIAC (D3)|
|Carroll College||Adding 4 Sports||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||TBD (NAIA)|
|Centenary (LA)||Adding STUNT||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||TBD (D3)|
|Chicago State||Possibly Joining NEC||Maybe – TBD||N/A||N/A|
|Cincinnati||Women’s Lacrosse to Big 12||Yes – 2024-25||American (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Cleveland State||Men’s Lacrosse Joining NEC||Yes – 2024-25||ASUN (D1)||NEC (D1)|
|College Football Playoff||New Executive Director and 12 Team Structure||No||N/A||N/A|
|Colorado||Women’s Lacrosse to Big 12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Concordia University Chicago||No Women’s Lacrosse for 2023-24||Yes – 2023-24||NACC (D3)||NACC (D3)|
|Crowley’s Ridge||Joining AMC||Yes – 2024-25||CAC (NAIA)||AMC (NAIA)|
|D2 Championships||Majority of Games moved to Streaming||No||N/A||N/A|
|Elmira||Adding Men’s and Women’s Lacorsse||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||Empire 8 (D3)|
|Florida State||Not Going Independent||No||N/A||N/A|
|Grand Canyon||Beach Volleyball to MPSF||Yes – 2024-25||CCSA (D1)||MPSF (D1)|
|Jamestown (ND)||Joining NSAA||Yes – 2024-25||GPAC (NAIA)||NSAA (NAIA)|
|Merging||Yes – 2024-25||No Athletic Changes||No Athletic Changes|
|Kean University||Adding Golf Programs||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||TBD (D3)|
|Maryland Eastern Shore||Adding Men’s Volleyball||Yes – 2025-26||N/A||NEC (D1)|
|McDaniel||Adding Women’s Wrestling||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||TBD (D3)|
|McPherson||Adding Women’s Bowling||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||KCAC (NAIA)|
|Milwaukee School of Engineering||Adding Women’s Wrestling||Yes – TBD||N/A||TBD (D3)|
|Molloy||Adding Sprint Football||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||CSFL (D1 and D2)|
|Mount St. Mary’s||Adding Varsity Dance||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||TBD (D1)|
|New England College||Football to CCC||Yes – 2025-26||Independent (D3)||CCC (D3)|
|Northern Kentucky||Adding 6 sports||Yes – 2024-25 and 2025-26||N/A||TBD (D1)|
|Oregon||Beach Volleyball to MPSF||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||MPSF (D1)|
|Robert Morris||Men’s Lacrosse Joining NEC||Yes – 2024-25||ASUN (D1)||NEC (D1)|
|Siena Heights||Adding Women’s Flag Football||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||TBD (NAIA)|
|St. Edwards||Adding Track & Field and STUNT||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||Lone Star (D2)|
|Stanford||Beach Volleyball to MPSF||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||MPSF (D1)|
|TCU||Beach Volleyball to Big 12||Yes – 2024-25||C-USA (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Texas A&M-San Antonio||Adding Men’s and Women’s Basketball||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||RRAC (NAIA)|
|UC Merced||Joining NCAA D2||Yes – 2024-25||Cal Pac (NAIA)||CCAA (D2)|
|UCLA||Beach Volleyball to MPSF||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||MPSF (D1)|
|USC||Beach Volleyball to MPSF||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||MPSF (D1)|
|Utah||Beach Volleyball to Big 12||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||Big 12 (D1)|
|Washington||Beach Volleyball to MPSF||Yes – 2024-25||Pac-12 (D1)||MPSF (D1)|
|Young Harris||Adding Men’s and Women’s Track & Field||Yes – 2024-25||N/A||Conference Carolinas (D2)|
Arizona Might Have to Discontinue Certain Athletic Programs
The University of Arizona is facing a financial crunch due to a miscalculation in the school’s forecast. The school thought they had 156 days of cash reserves but in reality, it is only 97 days as the model was off by a minuscule $240 million. To ease the burden, Arizona is looking at a 2% budget cut across all areas and sports are on the table for the rollbacks as well. The Arizona Daily Star has an excellent story on the numerous moving parts that have led to the current cuts facing the university. We’ll be sure to note any changes by Arizona should they occur.
Florida State Will Not Become an Independent Team
Florida State is exhausting every option in its bid to leave the ACC. FSU athletic director Michael Alford said that the football team will not become independent due to scheduling challenges they would face. Florida State has not been shy in letting everyone know they are unhappy with the current situation in the ACC. The Seminoles were also opposed to adding the trio of California, SMU, and Stanford, which certainly makes the school even more eager to leave as soon as possible. The ACC Grant of Rights runs through the 2035-36 academic year but that won’t stop trying to bolt from the conference.
Chicago State Realignment Possibility?
CollegeAD is reporting that Chicago State is looking at joining the Northeast Conference after the NEC recently saw the Merrimack and Sacred Heart announce their departures to the MAAC starting in 2024-25. Matt Brown of Extra Points also noted the possibility of Chicago State to the NEC as a way to ensure the NEC can maintain access to NCAA Tournaments. We took a deeper dive into the possibility of the NEC and Chicago State coming together in an article from Sunday, November 12.
Bradley Not Considering NCAA Division Change
Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois) is looking at ways to shave $13 million in spending and athletics has come under the microscope from academic faculty requesting a review of the department. The bulk of the cuts are aimed at the academic side, which led to the school’s professors asking for a cost/benefit analysis. The school has already stated a change from Divison 1 to Division 3 will not be seriously considered. The school reviews the athletics department on an annual basis and will continue to do so. Bradley is a full member of the Missouri Valley Conference, which they originally joined in 1948 and later rejoined in 1955.
College Football Playoff Changes
The College Football Playoff has selected Air Force Superintendent Richard M. Clark as its next executive director to replace Bill Hancock. Clark will oversee the transition from a 4-team playoff to 12 teams beginning in 2024 and will also be instrumental in the CFP’s upcoming TV contracts. The next contract could garner over $1 billion annually and may be split across multiple platforms.
In addition, the CFP is closer to a new format for the 12-team playoff. Thanks to the Pac-12’s disintegration, the CFP is likely to adopt a 5+7 model in which there are 5 automatic qualifiers and 7 at large bids. The only thing standing in the way of the change happening is if Washington State President Kirk Schulz voted against the proposal. A unanimous vote is needed for the change and Schulz isn’t ruling out voting for the proposal in some scenarios.
D1 Sports Changes
The Big 12 is adding beach volleyball and women’s lacrosse as sponsored sports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The current lineup for beach volleyball will include Arizona (Pac-12), Arizona State (Pac-12), TCU (C-USA), and Utah (Pac-12). Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah were already joining as full members of the Big 12 in 2024-25 but it was not clear at the time which conference the beach volleyball programs would join. Women’s lacrosse will feature Arizona State (Pac-12), Colorado (Pac-12), and Cincinnati (American) as of right now while the Big 12 is looking to add additional members for both sports in order to have access to the championship events.
Cleveland State and Robert Morris are on the move in men’s lacrosse. Both teams will leave the ASUN and join the Northeast Conference beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Cleveland State and Robert Morris represent the second pair of teams joining the NEC in men’s lacrosse in recent weeks. In early October, Detroit Mercy and VMI were announced as associate members in lacrosse beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The NEC will have 7 members when it relaunches its NEC Men’s Lacrosse championship with Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, Le Moyne, Long Island, Robert Morris, VMI, and Wagner. Merrimack and Sacred Heart were scheduled to be among the NEC men’s lacrosse programs but they have announced a move to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) starting in 2024-25.
Maryland Eastern Shore is adding men’s volleyball beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. UMES is a full member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the first HBCU to add the sport at the Division 1 level. The Hawks will compete as an associate member of the Northeast Conference, which is also where the school’s baseball and golf teams compete. UMES will put the NEC back to 6 teams in men’s volleyball alongside Fairleigh Dickinson, Long Island, Saint Francis (NY), Daemen, and D’Youville.
Mount St. Mary’s is elevating its dance team from club to varsity status beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The Mountaineers are a full member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) will add beach volleyball to its sponsored sports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. California, Grand Canyon, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, and Washington will compete in the first beach volleyball season under the MPSF banner. Grand Canyon will leave the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association to join the MPSF while the other six programs are leaving the Pac-12.
Northern Kentucky is adding 6 new sports over the next two academic years. Beginning in 2024-25, NKU will sponsor men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s triathlon, and women’s stunt. In 2025-26, the Nrose will begin competing in men’s volleyball. Of those 6 sports, only men’s triathlon will be a club sport while the other five will start at the varsity level. Northern Kentucky is a full member of the Horizon League although not all of the new programs will compete there as the conference doesn’t sponsor some sports.
UC Merced Joining Division 2
The University of California, Merced will join the NCAA Division 2 California Collegiate Athletic Association. The news was first reported by Matt Brown of Extra Points. UC Merced is currently a member of the NAIA’s California Pacific Conference (Cal Pac), which currently has members from Arizona and California. The move isn’t a surprise as the university has been focused on moving to the NCAA Division 2 as a long-term goal. The Bobcats will join beginning with the 2024-25 academic year and will become the only school from the University of California system as the current 12 members are all from the California State University system.
Some Division 2 Championship Events to Stream on Hudl
In an update to the previous Realignment Report on October 31, the NCAA has officially partnered with Hudl to stream football, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball. The games will be for the earlier rounds of each tournament with the semifinal and title games in basketball and football already having an existing contract with CBS and ESPN, respectively. For volleyball, the entire championships will be streamed on Hudl. There are some good and bad things about the partnership that we explored in more detail in a stand-alone article and we provide some suggestions to improve the bundle for consumers.
D2 Sports Changes
Kean University (Union, New Jersey) is adding men’s and women’s golf programs beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Kean is a full member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference, which does not sponsor either men’s or women’s golf. It is not yet known which conference the new programs will join.
Molloy University (Rockville Centre, New York) is adding sprint football beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Molloy will join the Collegiate Sprint Football League, which comprises teams from the NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 levels. Molloy will join Army, Caldwell, Chestnut Hill, Cornell, Mansfield, Navy, Penn, and St. Thomas Aquinas as the 9th member of the CSFL. Sprint football will be the 23rd sponsor sport for the full member of the East Coast Conference.
St. Edwards University (Austin, Texas) is adding track and field and STUNT as varsity sports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Both sports will compete in the Lone Star Conference, which is the primary conference for the Hilltoppers.
Young Harris College (Young Harris, Georgia) is adding men’s and women’s track & field beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. With the addition of these two sports, Young Harris now has 17 varsity sports. The Mountain Lions are a full member of the Conference Carolinas, which is where both track & field programs will compete.
D3 Sports Changes
Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) is canceling women’s basketball for the 2023-24 season due to a shortage of players. The college noted the team had 10 players to start the season but injuries have reduced the number to 6, necessitating the cancellation of the season. Carleton is a full member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).
Centenary College (Shreveport, Louisiana) is adding STUNT beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. It is not yet known which conference they will join, if any. Centenary is a full member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC).
Concordia University Chicago (River Forest, Illinois) will not compete in women’s lacrosse for the 2023-24 academic year. The school cited the head coaching vacancy and low roster numbers as the main reasons for the decision to skip the 2024 season. CUC is a full member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) and competes in the South division.
Elmira College (Elmira, New York) is bringing back men’s and women’s lacrosse beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The school previously transitioned the teams from varsity to club status following the 2020-21 academic year. The school didn’t specify which conference the teams would compete in but the Empire 8 is the most likely destination. Elmira is currently a member of the E8 and the conference sponsors both sports.
McDaniel College (Westminster, Maryland) is adding women’s wrestling beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. McDaniel is a full member of the Centennial Conference, which does not sponsor women’s wrestling. It is not known which conference the women’s wrestling team will compete in at this time.
The Milwaukee School of Engineering is adding women’s wrestling to its sports offerings. The school’s initial press release is scant on details with no timeline of when the sport will begin competing nor which conference they will be part of. MSOE is a full member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC).
Birmingham-Southern College to Remain Open for Academic Year
Birmingham-Southern plans to stay open for the remainder of the 2023-24 academic year. The school had its application to the state of Alabama’s loan program denied last month. BSC is likely to get help from the city of Birmingham later in November and it should be enough to see the school complete the current academic year. Birmingham-Southern has faced ongoing uncertainty for the 2023-24 academic year for months but the future beyond this school year is as uncertain as ever.
New England College Football to Join CCC
New England College (Henniker, New Hampshire) has found a home for its football program. The Pilgrims are bringing back football starting with the 2024-25 academic year, as previously reported, but will play a condensed schedule. Starting in 2025-26, the school will play a full schedule as well as join the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Pilgrims are a full member of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) but the conference doesn’t sponsor football.
NAIA’s American Midwest Conference Welcomes Two New Members
The American Midwest Conference announced two new members beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Baptist Bible College (Springfield, Missouri) and Crowley’s Ridge College (Paragould, Arkansas) will join the AMC. Baptist Bible was previously revealed to be interested in the AMC after announcing they were leaving the NCCAA in February 2023. Crowley’s Ridge is a member of the Continental Athletic Conference, which is made up of independent NAIA schools. The addition of Baptist Bible College and Crowley’s Ridge will put the AMC at 12 members.
Jamestown to Join NSAA For 2024-25
The University of Jamestown (Jamestown, North Dakota) is returning to a familiar place. The university will spend the 2024-25 academic year as a member of the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) after they were kicked out of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) in October. Jamestown was previously a member of the NSAA from 2013 through 2018. The Jimmies still have their eyes set on NCAA Division 2 membership but that process isn’t going to begin until the 2025-26 academic year. It’s a move that helps both parties because the NSAA was down to five members for 2024-25 until Jamestown’s addition with Viterbo (to the CCAC) and Waldorf (to the GPAC) on the way out.
Jessup University and Multnomah University Merging
Multnomah University (Portland, Oregon) will merge with Jessup University (Rocklin, California) to create the Multnomah Campus of Jessup University. There are no plans to change any athletic affiliations at this time according to the FAQs on Multnomah’s website. Multnomah plays in the Cascade Collegiate Conference at the NAIA level while Jessup is leaving the NAIA’s California Pacific Conference to join the NCAA Division 2 Pacific West Conference in 2024-25.
NAIA Sports Changes
Carroll College (Helena, Montana) is adding four sports: competitive dance, competitive cheer, junior varsity men’s basketball, and junior varsity men’s soccer. All four teams will compete beginning with the 2024-25 academic year but it is not known which conference they will compete in.
McPherson College (McPherson, Kansas) is adding women’s bowling beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. McPherson is a full member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and is the fifth KCAC school to compete in women’s bowling along with Avila, Ottawa, Kansas Wesleyan, and Saint Mary.
Siena Heights University (Adrian, Michigan) is adding women’s flag football beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. SHU is a full member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) and the first school in the WHAC to add women’s flag football as a sport. It is not yet known which conference SHU will compete in.
Texas A&M University-San Antonio is adding men’s and women’s basketball teams beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The two additions are another step in the university’s progress of building up its athletics department. The Jaguars currently offer men’s and women’s soccer, men’s golf, and softball. TAMU-San Antonio is a full member of the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC).
Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics