By Josh Looney
The Division II membership will grow this fall after eight new members and a 24th conference were approved for active status by the DII Membership Committee during its July 9-11 meeting in Indianapolis.
The Division II Membership Committee also approved one other school for acceptance into the division’s three-year membership process. All membership changes will take effect Sept. 1.
Following the acceptance of the Mountain East Conference earlier this year, the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) will become the second new conference to gain active status in Division II beginning in 2013-14. Both conferences include previous members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), which disbanded following the 2012-13 academic year.
The G-MAC originally applied for Division II membership in 2012 and spent the past year completing an educational assessment to become an active member conference. Members of the G-MAC for the 2013-14 academic year include Alderson Broaddus, Cedarville, Central State, Davis and Elkins, Kentucky Wesleyan, Ohio Valley, Salem International, Trevecca Nazarene and Ursuline.
The eight institutions the Division II Membership Committee recommend advance from provisional status into active status include:
The new members increase Division II’s active membership for 2013-14 to 293 institutions.
Of the five applications the division received seeking to join the membership process for 2013-14, Spring Hill (Mobile, Ala.) was accepted by the Membership Committee. Institutions advancing from the year-one candidacy period into year-two of candidacy included Daemen, Holy Names, Lubbock Christian, McMurry, Northwestern Oklahoma State, Oklahoma Christian and Virginia at Wise. The committee voted to require Lee and Rogers State to repeat year-one of the candidacy period.
The committee also approved nine other schools move from candidacy year two into provisional status, which puts them on track to obtain active status for 2014-15. Those institutions include Azusa Pacific, Fresno Pacific, Point Loma Nazarene, Roberts Wesleyan, Shorter, Southern Nazarene, Trevecca Nazarene, Union and Young Harris.
*Update: On July 22, the Division II Management Council referred the decision to accept membership applications of Auburn University at Montgomery (Alabama) and Spring Hill College (Mobile, Ala.) back to the Division II Membership Committee for further review.
On July 26, citing new information obtained regarding UAM’s probationary status with the NAIA, the Membership Committee overturned its initial decision and voted to deny the institution’s application for acceptance into the Division II membership process. The decision to accept Spring Hill into year one candidacy was upheld.