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 29, 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)/ConferenceNews ItemRealignment Change / Effective YearCurrent ConferenceNew Conference
Austin PeayAdding Women’s LacrosseYes – 2025-26N/AASUN (D1)
Babson CollegeJoining Little East for Men’s HockeyYes – 2025-26NEHC (D3)Little East (D3)
BentleyPossible NEC TargetNoN/AN/A
C-USA and MACExpansion RumorsNoN/AN/A
College Football PlayoffExpansion LikelyMaybe – 2026-27N/AN/A
Collegiate Field Hockey ConferenceSingle-sport Field Hockey Conference CreatedYes – 2024-25N/AN/A
DavidsonWomen’s basketball cancels seasonYes – 2023-24Atlantic 10 (D1)N/A
East Tennessee StateRealignment RumblingsNoN/AN/A
ElmhurtAdding Women’s WrestlingYes – 2024-25N/ACCIW (D3)
FontbonneSchool ClosingYes – 2025-26SLIAC (D3)N/A
Gulf Coast Athletic ConferenceRebranding to HBCUACYes – 2024-25N/AN/A
Johnson & WalesD3 Exploratory YearYes – 2024-25USCAATBD (D3)
Kenyon CollegeAdding Women’s GolfYes – 2025-26N/ANCAC (D3)
Lawrence UniversityLacrosse joining NACCYes – 2024-25N/ANACC (D3)
Massachusetts DartmouthFootball staying in MASCACYes – 2025-26MASCAC (D3)MASCAC (D3)
Mayville StateD3 Exploratory YearYes – 2024-25NAIATBD (D3)
New HavenPossible NEC TargetNoN/AN/A
Northern ColoradoRealignment RumblingsNoN/AN/A
Norwich UniversityJoining Little East for Men’s HockeyYes – 2025-26NEHC (D3)Little East (D3)
Penn State-BrandywineProvisional Membership ApprovedYes – 2024-25USCAAUnited East (D3)
Plymouth StateFootball staying in MASCACYes – 2025-26MASCAC (D3)MASCAC (D3)
Regent UniversityD3 Exploratory YearYes – 2024-25NCCAATBD (D3)
Southern WesleyanBringing back golf programsYes – 2025-26N/AConference Carolinas (D2)
Union (KY)Changing NameYes – 2024-25N/AN/A
University of Antelope ValleySchool closedYes – 2024-25Cal Pac (NAIA)N/A
University of Rio Grande (OH)Adding Women’s WrestlingYes – 2024-25N/ATBD (NAIA)
William PennAdding EsportsYes – 2024-25N/AHAAC (NAIA)

College Football Playoff Expansion Likely

The first 12-team College Football Playoff hasn’t even happened and the playoffs are likely expanding for a second time. Multiple outlets have reported the CFP has agreed to a new contract beginning in 2026 worth $1.3 billion annually as previously reported. However, the new wrinkle is a revenue-sharing aspect in which the Big Ten and SEC will each receive 29% of the revenue with the ACC receiving 17.1% and the Big 12 getting 14.7%. The other 10.2% will be split with Notre Dame and the Group of 5 conferences.

As for the expanded playoffs, the current leader for the future format is a 14-team bracket with the 5 highest-ranked conference champions and the 9 highest-ranked teams chosen as the at-large selections. The expansion details will not be finalized for months as the conferences will try to iron out details including whether the Big Ten or SEC will receive a guaranteed number of slots. The CFP continues to be run by the Big Ten and SEC as they’ve become the dominant winners in the TV revenue race.

C-USA and MAC Expansion Plans

When the Mid-American Conference (MAC) added Massachusetts as the 13th member in February, it was expected they would look for a 14th member with Western Kentucky as the top target. What if WKU passes on joining the MAC and remains in Conference USA? According to Matt Brown of Extra Points, the MAC will not be looking to the FCS ranks for its next member. For C-USA, it’s a different story where the FCS is likely where they will find future members. Some names mentioned were Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Missouri State, and Tarleton State. It’s not a surprise that C-USA would go back to the FCS well with the recent FCS additions of Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State in 2023, Kennesaw State in 2024, and Delaware in 2025.

Division 1 Realignment Rumblings

While there are constant realignment rumors and theories, a few rumblings made some waves. The first involved the Summit League, which is looking at potentially adding a new school to get back to ten full members. Northern Colorado was named a possible target according to Mike McFeely of Inforum. There are some drawbacks including UNC having a football program and the Summit League doesn’t sponsor the sport. Beyond that small detail, there’s no likely landing spot for the Bears as the MVFC wouldn’t be keen on adding them due to the program’s poor history at the FCS level (28-111 with no FCS Playoff appearances since 2006 when UNC joined D1).

Then there were the rumblings of the Northeast Conference possibly adding two Divison 2 schools for the 2024-25 academic year. The NEC is reportedly eyeing Bentley (Waltham, Massachusetts) and New Haven (West Haven, Connecticut) from the Northeast-10 Conference. The NEC has repeatedly gone back to the NE-10 well for members, which includes recent D1 moves by Le Moyne (2023), Merrimack (2019 and leaving for the MAAC), and Stonehill (2022). Both schools would help bolster the NEC’s membership number but would undergo a 4-year reclassification process before becoming a fully eligible D1 member.

Another rumbling came directly from East Tennessee State’s athletic director Doc Sander. On a podcast with Inside the Dome, Sander made it clear some of the Southern Conference’s policies are at odds with ETSU’s standing such as intraconference transfers. Whether that eventually leads to ETSU leaving or bylaw changes within the SoCon remains to be seen but it’s an issue worth keeping an eye on.

NCAA Division 1 Sports Changes

Austin Peay (Clarksville, Tennessee) is adding women’s lacrosse beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. Austin Peay is a full member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, which is where the team will compete against Coastal Carolina, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Lindenwood, Queens, and Stetson. Women’s lacrosse is the 17th varsity program sponsored by the Governors.

Davidson College canceled the rest of its 2023-24 women’s basketball campaign due to injuries. The Wildcats were 18-10 at the time of cancellation after starting the season 12-1. They had already forfeited games against Dayton and Fordham and had one regular season game left against Saint Louis. The Wildcats will finish the season at 18-11 overall and 8-10 in the Atlantic 10 for the 2023-24 season, according to the Atlantic 10’s website.

NCAA Division 2 Sports Changes

Southern Wesleyan University (Central, South Carolina) is bringing back men’s and women’s golf beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. The school cut both programs in 2021. Although the press release did not state which conference the teams would compete in, the most likely destination is Conference Carolinas, which sponsors both men’s and women’s golf. SWU is a full member of the Conference Carolinas as well.

NCAA Division 3 Sports Changes

A new single-sport conference will be created in time for the 2024-25 academic year. The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) applied and was approved for the Collegiate Field Hockey Conference. In 2023-24, the following 5 teams competed in Field Hockey for the SAA: Centre, Concordia (WI), Marian (WI), Rhodes, and Sewanee.

Babson College (Wellesley, Massachusetts) and Norwich University (Northfield, Vermont) will join the Little East Conference as affiliates for men’s hockey beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. Both schools will leave the New England Hockey Conference to compete alongside Keene State, Massachusetts-Boston, Massachusetts-Dartmouth, New England College, Plymouth State, Southern Maine, and Vermont State-Castleton.

Elmhurst University (Elmhurst, Illinois) will add women’s wrestling beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Current CCIW schools Augustana College, Carthage College, Illinois Wesleyan, and North Central College already sponsor women’s wrestling. Aurora University and Lakeland University also compete in the CCIW as associate members.

Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio) will add women’s golf beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. Kenyon, already a full member of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), will compete in the NCAC against Denison, DePauw, Hiarm, John Carroll, Ohio Wesleyan, Wittenberg, and Wooster.

Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin) will join the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) as an affiliate member for men’s and women’s lacrosse. The school previously announced it would start both programs in 2024-25 but did not specify where the teams would compete. Lawrence is a full member of the Midwest Conference, which doesn’t sponsor lacrosse.

Massachusetts Dartmouth (Dartmouth, Massachusetts) and Plymouth State (Plymouth, New Hampshire) will join the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) as football-only affiliates beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. If this sounds like no change is actually occurring, that is correct. In November 2023, it was reported that Plymouth State and UMass-Dartmouth – along with Vermont State-Castleton and Western Connecticut Statewere being kicked out as football affiliates starting in 2025. The MASCAC will have 10 football members in 2025 according to the release: Ana Maria, Bridgewater State, Dean College, Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Massachusetts Dartmouth, Massachusetts Maritime, Plymouth State, Westfield State, and Worcester State.

Fontbonne University Closing

Fontbonne University (Clayton, Missouri) will close after the 2024-25 academic year. The school cited declining enrollment and endowment as the main factors for the decision and will not enroll any students in the fall of 2024. Nearby Washington University will purchase the campus, which will allow teaching to continue through the summer of 2025. The Griffins will continue to compete in 2024-25 but it remains to be seen if all athletic teams will compete. Fontbonne is a full member of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC).

D3 Exploratory Year Accepted for Three Schools

Johnson & Wales University (Charlotte, North Carolina), Mayville State University (Mayville, North Dakota), and Regent University (Virginia Beach, Virginia) have officially been accepted for an NCAA Division 3 exploratory year beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. JWU is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), Mayville is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and Regent is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).

Should the three schools complete the exploratory year, they will be eligible to apply for a three-year provisional membership that would begin in 2025-26. Speaking of provisional applications, Penn State-Brandywine’s provisional membership application was approved and will begin the three-year process in 2024-25. Brandywine will join the United East Conference in 2024-25.

NAIA Sports Changes

The University of Rio Grande (Rio Grande, Ohio) is adding women’s wrestling beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Rio Grande is a full member of the River States Conference but the RSC doesn’t sponsor women’s wrestling. It is not known which conference Rio Grande will compete in.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Waxahachie, Texas) is changing its name to Nelson University starting on August 1, 2024. P.C. Nelson founded the school in 1927 as the Southwestern Bible School and later changed its name to Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in 1994. The school will retain its Lions nickname and remain in the Sooner Athletic Conference.

William Penn (Oskaloosa, Iowa) is adding Esports to its varsity offerings beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The Statesmen will compete in the Heart of American Athletic Conference (HAAC), which is their primary conference.

University of Antelope Valley Closed

The University of Antelope Valley (Lancaster, California) was forced to close its doors on Friday, March 8, 2024, after a ruling by California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). The school was already on shaky ground following a missed payment by its parent company the Genius Group in February 2024. The men’s and women’s basketball teams are still expected to play in their respective postseason tournaments per Cal Pac commissioner Don Ott. Meanwhile, the baseball and softball teams have canceled their seasons with immediate effect. Should UAV not reopen, the Cal Pac will have only seven full members by the start of the 2025-26 academic year.

Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Rebranding

The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference is changing its name to the HBCU Athletic Conference (HBCUAC) beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The HBCUAC will add three members in 2024 with Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, Alabama), Vorhees University (Denmark, South Carolina), and Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, Ohio) joining the newly named conference.

Union College Changing Name

Union College (Barbourville, Kentucky) is changing its name to Union Commonwealth University. It is not known if other changes will be made to the nickname or school colors. Union is a full member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference.

Photo Courtesy of ESPN