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 February 15, 2024, 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 changes happening in 2024-25 or later can be found here.

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
2PacNamed New CommishNoN/AN/A
Barry UniversityAdding Men’s VolleyballYes – 2024-25N/ATBD (D1/D2/D3)
Colby-SawyerMen’s Tennis to CCCYes – 2024-25GNAC (D3)CCC (D3)
College Football PlayoffNew Format ApprovedYes – 2024-25N/AN/A
FloridaWomen’s Lacrosse Joining Big 12Yes – 2024-25AAC (D1)Big 12 (D1)
HeidelbergAdding Women’s WrestlingYes – 2025-26N/ATBD (D3)
Indiana TechAdding men’s rugbyYes – 2024-25N/AIndependent (NAIA)
LeMoyne-OwenAdding Men’s VolleyballYes – 2024-25N/ASIAC (D2)
MassachusettsJoining MACYes – 2025-26Atlantic 10 / FBS Independent (D1)MAC (D1)
Mississippi University for WomenName Change Not Happening (yet)NoN/AN/A
Notre Dame CollegeCollege closingYes – 2024-25Mountain East (D2)N/A
Old DominionWomen’s Rowing Joining Big 12Yes – 2024-25AAC (D1)Big 12 (D1)
Saint Augustine’sFinancial IssuesPossibly – TBDN/AN/A
Saint Joseph (CT)Men’s Tennis to CCCYes – 2024-25GNAC (D3)CCC (D3)
San Diego StateWomen’s Lacrosse Joining Big 12Yes – 2024-25Pac-12 (D1)Big 12 (D1)
Texas A&M-TexarkanaAdding new sportsYes – 2024-25 and 2025-26N/ATBD (NAIA)
TulsaWomen’s Rowing Joining Big 12Yes – 2024-25AAC (D1)Big 12 (D1)
UC DavisWomen’s Lacrosse Joining Big 12Yes – 2024-25Pac-12 (D1)Big 12 (D1)
University of Antelope ValleySchool Closing?Maybe?N/AN/A
University of North Carolina SchoolsNew rule that may impact future realignmentNoN/AN/A
Western KentuckyRumored to be possible MAC TargetNoN/AN/A
Western OregonCancels Women’s Basketball seasonYes – 2023-24N/AN/A

College Football Playoff Approves 5+7 Model and Other Dealings

The College Football Playoff has approved a 5+7 model in which the five highest-ranked conference champions will receive an automatic bid followed by the next seven highest-ranked teams. The change was needed after the Pac-12 was torn apart by realignment. The vote was unanimous, which means the Pac-12 – now comprised of Oregon State and Washington State – approved the format with some concessions. The Pac-12 will keep its voting privileges on the CFP Board of Managers for the next two seasons.

While it was reported earlier in February that a new deal was reached between the CFP and ESPN, it appears there may be some details to iron out. In fact, there’s already a push for an expansion to 14 or 16 teams before the first 12-team playoff has even been played. Meanwhile, the Big Ten and SEC would like to receive higher revenue distributions from the CFP with the possibility they may form their own playoff. Finally, there’s the potential impact of the expanded playoff on the Army-Navy game. In other words, it’s another day in College Football where money is running the show.

Massachusetts Joining MAC

Massachusetts will leave the Atlantic 10 to join the Mid-American Conference (MAC) as a full member beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. The football team will leave FBS independent status to join the MAC at the same time. The MAC may look to expand by another team to reach an even number according to Kyle Rowland with Western Kentucky listed as a potential target. UMass choosing the MAC over Conference USA leaves the door open for a possible FCS call-up to C-USA according to The Athletic.

NCAA Division 1 Sports Changes

The Big 12 added a plethora of new affiliates in women’s lacrosse and women’s rowing. For women’s lacrosse, Florida (AAC), San Diego State (Pac-12), and UC Davis (Pac-12) will join the Big 12 beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. They will compete alongside Arizona State, Cincinnati, and Colorado as the conference will play its inaugural season in 2025. In women’s rowing, Old Dominion (AAC) and Tulsa (AAC) will compete against Central Florida, Kansas, Kansas State, and West Virginia starting in 2024-25.

Pac-12 Names Replacement Commissioner

The Pac-12 has named Terea Gould as conference commissioner starting on March 1 just days after announcing a separation from George Kliavkoff. 2Pac – currently consisting of Oregon State and Washington State – will look to rebuild under Gould’s leadership. Gould was most recently the Deputy Commissioner of the Pac-12 and joined the conference in 2018.

New North Carolina Rule May Impact Future UNC Schools

The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors has implemented a new rule that requires its institutions to obtain approval before any realignment changes. The UNC has 17 different schools under its umbrella but the main focus would be on keeping North Carolina and North Carolina State together given the ongoing legal battle between the ACC and Florida State.

NCAA Division 2 Sports Changes

Barry University (Miami Shores, Florida) is adding men’s volleyball beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. It is not known which conference Barry will compete in as its primary home – the Sunshine State Conference – doesn’t sponsor the sport. While Barry is a D2 program, men’s volleyball is currently a one-division sport with D1, D2, and D3 programs competing against one another.

LeMoyne-Owen College (Memphis, Tennessee) is adding men’s volleyball beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The team will compete in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) against Benedict College, Central State, Edward Waters, Fort Valley State, Kentucky State, and Morehouse College.

Western Oregon (Monmouth, Oregon) has canceled the rest of the 2023-24 women’s basketball season citing “internal team challenges.” Head coach Jessica Peatross and assistant DJ Marlow have been placed on administrative leave while the university conducts an investigation. In all, WOU forfeited 6 games against Great Northwest Athletic Conference opponents.

Notre Dame College Closing

Notre Dame College (South Euclid, Ohio) is closing its doors after the 2023-24 academic year. There were talks that the college might be acquired by Cleveland State in January but that will not come to fruition. Instead, the 102-year-old institution will close and students not graduating in Spring 2024 will have the chance to transfer to one of nine colleges that agreed to a teach-out program. Notre Dame College is a member of the Mountain East Conference, which will remain at 11 members in 2024-25 with Point Park University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) joining from the NAIA’s River States Conference.

Saint Augustine’s Facing Serious Financial Issues

Saint Augustine’s University (Raleigh, North Carolina) is facing a number of financial issues that threaten the school’s ability to stay open. The IRS filed a nearly $8 million lien against the school for unpaid taxes, FieldTurf USA has a $600,000 lien after the school didn’t pay for a new athletic field, and an insurance company (Wellfleet) says SAU hasn’t paid $430,000 in student health insurance deductibles. Most recently, the school’s ability to pay its staff is in doubt and some students are being told that classes are canceled and SAU lost its accreditation appeal putting its future further in jeopardy. The Falcons are a full member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), which they joined back in 1933.

NCAA Division 3 Sports Changes

Two schools will leave the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) to join the Commonwealth Coast Conference for men’s tennis. Colby-Sawyer College (New London, New Hampshire) and the University of Saint Joseph (West Hartford, Connecticut) will compete in the CC beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The two additions will bring the CCC’s men’s tennis count up to 10.

Heidelberg University (Tiffin, Ohio) will add women’s wrestling beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. Heidelberg is a full member of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) and the fifth school in the OAC to add women’s wrestling following Baldwin Wallace, John Carroll, Mount Union, and Otterbein. The OAC does not sponsor women’s wrestling and John Carroll is leaving the OAC starting with the 2025-26 academic year; however, JCU’s future conference – the North Coast Athletic Conference – does not sponsor women’s wrestling meaning the OAC could add the sport with JCU as an affiliate.

Mississippi University for Women Seeking ANOTHER Name Change

Stop if you’ve heard this before: The Missississippi University for Women will not move forward with a name change at this time. Yup, MUW is going back to the drawing board in its neverending search for a new name. MUW originally proposed a name change to Mississippi Brightwell University in January 2024 but the name wasn’t well received, which led to additional naming proposals being requested. Earlier in February, the most recently proposed name was Wynbridge State University of Mississippi… which also fell flat with the alumni. MUW is pausing the current name change as it seeks even more feedback and attempts to find a new name that satisfies all parties involved.

NAIA Sports Changes

Indiana Tech (Fort Wayne, Indiana) will add men’s rugby beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The Warriors will compete as an independent and join a conference at a later date. Indiana Tech is a full member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC).

Texas A&M-Texarkana (Texarkana, Texas) is adding a slew of sports teams in the next two years. In 2024-25, they will begin competing in competitive cheer and dance, esports, and beach volleyball. In 2025-26, the school will add men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and women’s bowling. The Eagles are a full member of the Red River Athletic Conference, which some teams are likely to compete in but confirmation of membership for each sport will be confirmed at a later date.

Antelope Valley Closing?

The University of Antelope Valley (Lancaster, California) has been forced to close its current campus after its parent company (ironically named the Genius Group) missed a lease payment. The school, which is run by a for-profit entity, announced it is attempting to find a new location for its campus. However, the students who currently live on campus will be forced to move out by March 3 and the school’s basketball teams can no longer use the facilities. The UAV men’s and women’s basketball teams will compete in the California Pacific Conference and NAIA tournaments following a fundraising effort on GoFundMe.

Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Athletics