The presidents of eight universities in West Virginia and one in Pennsylvania announced on Monday, June 18, 2012, that they will create a new all-sports athletic conference and seek membership in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The University of Charleston, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Seton Hill University, Shepherd University, West Liberty University, West Virginia State University and West Virginia Wesleyan College unanimously decided that it would be in the best interests of its institutions to pursue the formation of a new athletic conference.
The initial members intend to create a conference with a regional footprint that would ultimately consist of twelve member institutions, each of whom include football among their sport sponsorships.
“The intent of a new conference is to align like-minded institutions in terms of budget and goals. We strongly believe that a twelve-member all sports conference creates a solid foundation for its membership,” stated the presidents from the nine institutions in a joint statement. “The investment required for an all-sports league will level the playing field for all of its member institutions while positioning its members for growth.”
The nine initial member institutions plan to submit required documentation to the NCAA before December 1, 2012.
No determinations have been made regarding a name for the new conference or its operations.
The new conference intends to commence competition in the 2013-14 academic year. The pursuit of the creation of a new conference will not affect athletic schedules for the noted institutions for the 2012-13 seasons.