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 March 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)/ConferenceNews ItemRealignment Change / Effective YearCurrent ConferenceNew Conference
Big WestAdding Softball ChampionshipYes – 2024-25N/AN/A
Birmingham-SouthernSchool ClosingYes – 2024-25SAA (D3)N/A
BlufftonMerging with FindlayYes – 2025-26HCAC (D3)HCAC (D3)
BridgewaterAdding Men’s VolleyballYes – 2025-26N/AODAC (D3)
Clarke UniversityDropping Women’s LacrosseYes – 2024-25HAAC (NAIA)N/A
ClemsonFiled Lawsuit against ACCNoN/AN/A
DrewJoining CVC in Men’s VolleyballYes – 2024-25Independent (D3)CVC (D3)
FindlayMerging with BlufftonYes – 2025-26GMAC (D2)GMAC (D2)
Great Northwest Athletic ConferenceNew CommissionerNo – 2024-25N/AN/A
HilbertAdding EsportsYes – 2024-25N/ALikely NACE
Indiana University EastAdding Men’s VolleyballYes – 2024-25N/ATBD (D3)
Johnson & Wales (RI)Adding Women’s Track & FieldYes – 2024-25N/AGNAC (D3)
Lake ErieAdding STUNTYes – 2025-26N/AG-MAC (D2)
MaryvilleAdding STUNTYes – 2025-26N/ATBD (D3)
Mayville StateRealignment RumorsNoN/AN/A
Mount Saint VincentAdding EsportsYes – 2024-25N/AECC (D3)
Saint Augustine’sFootball Team Unlikely to Play in 2024Yes – 2024-25CIAA (D2)TBD
St. NorbertAdding STUNTYes – 2025-26N/ATBD (D3)
St. NorbertAdding Men’s Club Hockey TeamYes – 2025-26N/AACHA (Division 2)
UTRGVMoving to SouthlandYes – 2024-25WAC (D1)Southland (D1)
Valley City StateRealignment RumorsNoN/AN/A
WaynesburgAdding Women’s WrestlingYes – 2024-25N/ATBD (D3)
WheelingAdding Women’s LacrosseYes – 2024-25N/AMEC (D2)
WhittierMay bring back lacrosseTBDN/AN/A
WilberforceAdding Women’s GymnasticsYes – 2025-26N/ATBD (NAIA)

Clemson Joins Fight Against ACC

Clemson has filed a lawsuit against the ACC joining Florida State in an attempt to leave the conference. Clemson is claiming the ACC’s financial penalties to leave the conference are “unenforceable” with the current exit fee estimated at around $140 million. The discontent has been long simmering among ACC members and now the two biggest schools are using legal means to challenge the ACC’s Grant of Rights. With the ACC clearly behind the Big Ten and SEC, its members are seeking a way out to bolster its standing in the ever-changing college athletics landscape.

Reactions from other administrators have been mixed with UNC Board of Trustees Chairman John Preyer believing the move by Clemson is a good thing to obtain more transparency while Miami’s AD Dan Radkovich is in support of the ACC.

UTRGV Headed to Southland

The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) will leave the Western Athletic Conference and join the Southland Conference beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. According to Pete Thamel of ESPN, UTRGV will pay a $2 million exit fee to the WAC. The change in membership will put the WAC at 10 teams and the Southland at 11 members. UTRGV is starting a football team that will begin competing in 2025

NCAA Division 1 Sports Changes

The Big West is adding a softball championship in 2025. It was previously announced the conference would add a baseball championship in 2025 but the release did not mention anything about softball. That change was confirmed in February 2024 and the Big West will also add men’s and women’s swimming & diving championships in 2024-25.

NCAA Division 2 Sports Changes

Lake Erie College (Painesville, Ohio) will add STUNT beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. Lake Erie will compete in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC), which is also its primary conference. STUNT is the college’s 18th varsity sport and Lake Erie represents the 7th G-MAC school to sponsor the sport. The NCAA recently classified STUNT as one of five emerging women’s sports along with Acrobatics and Tumbling, Equestrian, Rugby, and Triathlon.

Saint Augustine’s University (Raleigh, North Carolina) is unlikely to compete in football for the 2024-25 academic year according to a report from HBCU Gameday. If that comes to fruition, there will likely be few sports (any?) that will compete for SAU. The school is facing a myriad of issues from financial and accreditation standpoints. Saint Augustine’s is a full member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

Wheeling University (Wheeling, West Virginia) is bringing back women’s lacrosse beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The Cardinals last competed in women’s lacrosse in 2018-19 when they lost the Mountain East Conference (MEC) Championship game to Virginia Wise 16-14. Wheeling will compete in the MEC.

NCAA Division 2 Findlay Merging With NCAA Division 3 Bluffton

Two Ohio schools intend to merge beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. The University of Findlay (D2) and Bluffton University (D3) will merge but intend to keep separate athletic programs and remain in their current conference. Findlay is a full member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) at the D2 level while Bluffton is a full member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) in Division 3. Neither school plans to change its team name or mascot.

Great Northwest Appoints New Commissioner

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) has selected Bridget Johnson Tetteh as its next commissioner. Tetteh will take over for Dave Haglund and assume the commissioner’s duties on July 1, 2024. Tetteh was previously the associate and assistant commissioner while Haglund was in charge. The GNAC has 10 full members from Alaska, British Columbia (Canada), Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

NCAA Division 3 Sports Changes

Bridgewater College (Bridgewater, Virginia) is adding men’s volleyball beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. The Eagles are a full member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), which is where Bridgewater will compete in men’s volleyball. The ODAC will begin sponsoring men’s volleyball in 2024-25.

Drew University (Madison, New Jersey) will leave Division 3 independent status in men’s volleyball and join the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. The CVC will consist of 11 members with Drew, Eastern Mennonite, Elizabethtown, Juniata, Kean, Marymount, Randolph Macon, Roanoke College, Rutgers-Newark, and Southern Virginia competing.

Hilbert College (Hamburg, New York) is adding Esports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. At the time of publication, it is not known which organization Hilbert will be a part of but it’s likely to be the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). Hilbert is a full member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC).

Johnson & Wales University (Providence, Rhode Island) will add women’s track & field beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. JWU will compete in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) for 2024-25 followed by the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) in 2025-26. JWU is making a full membership from the GNAC to the CCC in 2025-26.

Maryville College (Maryville, Tennessee) is adding STUNT as its 17th varsity sport beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. Maryville is not slated to compete in a conference as their primary conference (Collegiate Conference of the South) does not sponsor the sport. The NCAA recently classified STUNT as one of five emerging women’s sports along with Acrobatics and Tumbling, Equestrian, Rugby, and Triathlon.

St. Norbert College (De Pere, Wisconsin) will add STUNT beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. It is not known which conference SNC will compete in as its primary conference – the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) – doesn’t sponsor the sport. St. Norbert’s is also adding a men’s club hockey team that will compete in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division 2 level.

The University of Mount Saint Vincent (Riverdale, New York) is adding Esports beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. UMSV is a full member of the Skyline Conference but will compete in Esports as an affiliate member of the East Coast Conference (ECC).

Waynesburg University (Waynesburg, Pennsylvania) is adding women’s wrestling beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. Waynesburg primary conference – the Presidents’ Athletic Conference – doesn’t sponsor the sport and it is not known which conference the team will compete in.

Whittier College (Whittier, California) is attempting to bring back men’s lacrosse. Whittier cut lacrosse, football, and golf in November 2022 and there is support for bringing back the program. The current plan is to start in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA), which is not affiliated with the NCAA. The school may try to return to NCAA status but there are major concerns surrounding the amount of travel required and the required budget to sustain extensive travel.

Birmingham-Southern Will Close

Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, Alabama) will close on May 31, 2024, at the end of the 2023-24 academic year. The school has been teetering on the brink of closure since February 2023 and a series of legislative bills aimed to keep them afloat has failed. As recently as November 2023, BSC was expected to remain open for the Fall 2024 semester but that is no longer the case. Birmingham-Southern is a full member of the Southern Athletic Association (SAA).

NAIA Sports Changes

Clarke University (Dubuque, Iowa) is dropping its women’s lacrosse program at the end of the 2023-24 academic year. The school did not provide a detailed reason other than it “thoroughly reviewed and analyzed initiatives in the college athletics landscape”. Clarke competed in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC).

Indiana University East (Richmond, Indiana) is adding men’s volleyball beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. IU East is currently a member of the River States Conference but the RSC does not sponsor men’s volleyball. It is not known which conference IU East will compete in.

Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, Ohio) is adding women’s gymnastics beginning with the 2025-26 academic year. It is not known which conference they will compete in. Wilberforce is joining the HBCU Athletic Conference (formerly the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference) in 2024-25. Wilberforce is also adding women’s soccer and women’s volleyball with both slated to begin competition in 2024-25.

Mayville State and Valley City State Realignment Rumors

Two North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) schools are looking for new homes in 2025-26 and some possible destinations are being discussed. Mayville State (Mayville, North Dakota) was already approved for an exploratory year in 2024-25 with the NCAA and they may ultimately join the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC). The UMAC is a Division 3 conference with schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin but a formal invitation has not been provided to Mayville State.

Valley City State (Valley City, North Dakota) brought in a consultant to address the possibility of applying for NCAA membership with the hopes of joining the Division 2 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. They too would consider alternatives such as the UMAC in Division 3 or possibly staying in the NAIA and moving to the Frontier Conference.

Photo Courtesy of Winslow Townson / USA TODAY Sports