UVa-Wise is one step closer to becoming a NCAA Division II school following a vote Monday to make the college a provisional member in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, or G-MAC.
If all goes well, UVa-Wise will become the seventh member of the newly-formed NCAA conference and could begin competition in the 2013-2014 season.
“As the Great Midwest Athletic Conference continues to grow, we are delighted to add The University of Virginia’s College at Wise as a member school,” said Cedarville University President Dr. William Brown, chair of the G-MAC Presidents Council. “Their commitment to quality education and a robust experience for their student athletes complements the current membership well.”
Having been provisionally accepted into the G-MAC, UVa-Wise officials will now apply to the NCAA’s membership process to become a Division II school, according to a college news release. That application is due to NCAA officials by June 1. The membership process takes several years, and UVa-Wise officials hope to be able to be accepted and competing by the 2015-2016 academic year.
UVa-Wise Athletic Director Danny Sterling said the college’s provisional membership in the G-MAC is a positive step forward.
“Pursuing NCAA membership began under the vision of Chancellor [David] Prior, and everyone associated with athletics is dedicated to making that vision reality,” Sterling said in a news release.
UVa-Wise’s Highland Cavaliers currently compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in the Mid-South Conference.
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The G-MAC was approved by the NCAA as a member conference effective September 1, 2012. Conference officials hope to begin competition as the 24th active NCAA Division II conference by the 2013-2014 academic year.
If admitted as an NCAA Division II institution, UVa-Wise would become a full member of the G-MAC and would join the charter members of the conference, including Cedarville University (Cedarville, Ohio), Central State University (Wilberforce, Ohio), Kentucky Wesleyan College (Owensboro, Ky.), Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, Tenn.), Urbana University (Urbana, Ohio) and Ursuline College (Pepper Pike, Ohio).
Read more about the announcement and what it might mean for UVa-Wise in Friday’s issue of The Highland Cavalier.