Conference Stability

How realignment has affected DIII conferences over the years

JULY 13, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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» What’s Happening. DIII Student-Athlete Advisory Committee meeting (Sat.-Sun.).

1. Conference Stability

Ever wonder about the stability of the core membership of Division III conferences? Now that July 1 has come and gone and schools have moved from one league to another for a variety of reasons, that got us thinking about conferences that have remained essentially intact over the decades … and others that have not.

Today, we begin a multi-part series on DIII conferences - when they were founded, who were the charter members, and what additions or defections they have seen since their inception.

Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. The AMCC began play in 1997-98 with six members - La Roche, Penn State Behrend, Pitt-Bradford, Pitt-Greensburg, Frostburg State (left 2010), and Lake Erie (left 2008).

Added to Core: PSU Altoona (1998), Hilbert (2005), Mount Aloysius (2006), Alfred State (2019), Carlow (2023), Wells (2023)

Come and Gone: Medaille (2005-2022), Franciscan (2008-2020), D’Youville (2009-2020)

American Rivers Conference. The Conference dates to December 8, 1922 with charter members Buena Vista, Central, Des Moines, Ellsworth, Iowa Wesleyan, Luther, Morningside, Parsons, St. Ambrose, Simpson, Upper Iowa, Western Union and William Penn. Reorganized in 1954-55 with Buena Vista, Central, Dubuque (added 1929), Iowa Wesleyan (left 1965), Luther, Parsons (left 1963), Simpson, Upper Iowa (left 2003) and Wartburg (added 1936).

Added: Loras (1926-54, returned 1986), Dubuque (1929), Wartburg (1936), Coe (1997), Nebraska Wesleyan (2016)

Come and Gone: William Penn (1922-54, 1962-2001), Cornell (1997-2012)

Atlantic East Conference. The founding member schools that joined the conference in September of 2018 included Cabrini (closing 2024), Gwynedd Mercy, Immaculata, Marymount, Marywood, Neumann and Wesley (closed 2021).

Added: Centenary (2021)

American Southwest Conference. The conference was founded on May 23, 1996 with Austin (left 2006), University of Dallas (left 2001), Hardin-Simmons, Howard Payne, McMurry (left 2012, rejoins 2014), Mississippi College (left 2014), University of the Ozarks (leaving 2024) and Sul Ross State as members.

Added: Mary Hardin-Baylor (1997), East Texas Baptist (1998), LeTourneau (1998), Texas-Dallas (1998), Concordia (1999, leaving 2024)

Come and Gone: Schreiner (1998-2013), Louisiana College (1999-2021), Texas Lutheran (2000-13), Texas-Tyler (2002-19), Centenary (2011-12), Belhaven (2015-22)

Coast-to-Coast Conference. The C2C was originally constituted as the Capital Athletic Conference in 1989 with charter members including Catholic (left 2007), Gallaudet (left 2010), Mary Washington, Marymount (left 2018), St. Mary’s Md. (left 2021), and York, Pa. (left 2020). The CAC officially evolved into the C2C on November 18, 2020, and invited UC-Santa Cruz, Finlandia (closed 2023), Mills (left 2022), Mount Mary, Pine Manor (left 2021) and Pratt Institute (leaving 2024).

Added: Salisbury (1991-92), Christopher Newport (2013), Warren Wilson (2022)

Come and Gone: Goucher (1993-2007), Hood (2007-12), Stevenson (2007-12), Wesley (2007-18), Frostburg State (2010-19), Penn State Harrisburg (2013-19), Southern Virginia (2013-21).


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2. Champs Committee Recap

The Division III Championships Committee met on June 20-21 and discussed the budget priorities survey among other items.

The survey identified the top four most important items in terms of priority as 1) increase travel party; 2) per diem increase; 3) per diem - high-cost cities; 4) permissible flights. When asked which is most important, the survey said travel party, per diem increase and championships access as the top three items.

The committee approved the American Southwest Conference’s request to include Sul Ross State, a DIII conference member beginning its move to DII, to be defined as an in-region opponent for NCAA championships in 2023-24.

The group also heard a report from the DIII Football Committee which is continuing to discuss potential bracket expansion. Its preferred format with add eight teams with an additional round with the Stagg Bowl to be played around the new year.

3. Rutgers Pays $2.8M To Settle Discrimination Cases By Former Newark Basketball Players

by Keith Sargeant,

Rutgers University paid $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit claiming two of its employees made discriminatory comments that went unpunished by the administration in 2014 and 2015, according to documents obtained by NJ Advance Media.

Six of the players were awarded a total of $1 million in damages for alleged emotional distress, documents show. A seventh player was dismissed from the case for undisclosed issues, their attorney, Kevin Barber, previously told NJ Advance Media. Barber received $1.8 million as a result of the settlement.

» Background: “The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Essex County in May 2017 by former Rutgers-Newark women’s basketball coach Kevin Morris, claimed Mark Griffin, the longtime athletics director at Rutgers-Newark, made homophobic and racist comments at staff meetings as well as sexist and obscene comments about female student athletes both privately and in public. Seven former players joined the lawsuit, claiming William Zasowski - the interim head coach selected to replace Morris when he went on medical leave - also made derogatory comments.”

» What They’re Saying: “Do I feel vindicated by this? I do,’' Morris said. “This is an amazing number and justified.’'

4. Lightning Round ⚡️

⚾️ Baseball. There were six Division III players who were drafted this week in the Major League Baseball amateur draft.

⛳️ Golf. The NCAA announced that Spikemark Golf LLC will become the provider for all golf scoring and ranking services used by the Association beginning with the 2023-24 season. Spikemark will transition into the service role previously provided by Golfstat. 

⚽️ Soccer. A women’s soccer coach at Geneva College, a Christian institution in Pennsylvania, was fired in June for posting messages supporting the LGBTQ community on her Instagram page, Religion News Service reported.

🗞 News. Three Division III minority administrators - Ron Baines (NJCU), Amber Thomas (Centennial Conference), and Robert Vogel (Alverno) - have been selected for the Dr. Charles Whitcomb Leadership Institute, a program that aims to elevate participants' leadership skills to accelerate their professional growth while enhancing their ability to excel within their current roles.

🗞 News. Can you name the only college or university to play football at every classification or grouping in the NCAA? They were known as “The Fighting Knights” and played three seasons in DIII - 1979-80-81.

5. Comings and Goings

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