Cumberland announces plans to pursue NCAA Division II membership

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 6:12pm

By the time the 2017-18 season rolls around, Trevecca Nazarene won’t be the only NCAA Division II school in the area.

Cumberland University in Lebanon announced Wednesday that it was granted provisional membership into the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) and will apply for NCAA D-II membership in February 2014. If accepted, Cumberland will begin the three-year transitional phase next July and become a full-fledged Division II member in 2017-18.

Cumberland has competed in the NAIA since 1984 and was a member of the Mid-South Conference.

“This is the first step in what we hope is a successful move into NCAA Division II,” athletic director Ron Pavan said. “[President Dr. Harvill] Eaton and the Board of Trust have been major supporters of the athletic department and its student-athletes and this is even further evidence that the university continues to move forward to enhance the experience and competitiveness of all of the athletic teams.”

Trevecca, entering the final stage of its transition from NAIA to NCAA D-II, is expected to receive full membership before the 2014-15 season. The Trojans are charter members of the G-MAC, which was founded in 2012 and is based in Indianapolis.

The league features eight active members – Alderson Broaddus University (W.Va.), Cedarville University (Ohio), Central State University (Ohio), Davis & Elkins College (W.Va.), Kentucky Wesleyan College, Ohio Valley University (W.Va.), Salem International University (W.Va.), and Ursuline College (Ohio). Along with Trevecca and Cumberland, Georgetown College (Ky.) is transitioning and will apply for Division II membership in February.

“Becoming a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference is a major milestone for an athletic program that continues to grow its reputation for winning and outstanding student-athletes,” Eaton said. “Our athletic program is driven by a competitive spirit that I believe will complement our new conference.”

1 Comment on this post:

By: courier37027 on 8/8/13 at 10:33

It is about time for the NAIA to close shop. While serving a niche for true student-athletes, the recent exodus of schools does not bode well for future of ths institution.

Then again, if NCAA loses its image licensing lawsuit there could be renewed interest in a college format where education is top priority over athletics.