The Great Lakes Valley Conference announced a timeline for football as a conference-sponsored sport. It targets 2012 as the first GLVC football season.
GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich said in a press release, "The addition of football as the 18th championship sponsored by the GLVC is a significant step for the league and our member institutions that sponsor the sport."
There are several GLVC member institutions that already sponsor football, and compete either as a Division II independent or as an associate member of another conference.
"The athletic directors from our football-playing institutions have all expressed their desire to compete in the GLVC and I am happy that we will be able to accommodate this request beginning in 2012," said Naumovich.
The NCAA required six participants in a conference to qualify for earned-access in the NCAA Division II Football Championship Tournament. William Jewell College has been accepted for GLVC membership, bringing the number of GLVC schools sponsoring football to six. There will be 10 GLVC schools that do not sponsor football, but with the conference adding it, this is hope that others may look to add the sport to their institution's offerings.
The other GLVC members that currently sponsor football include: Kentucky Wesleyan, Missouri S&T, St. Joseph's College, Quincy University, and the University of Indianapolis.
Kentucky Wesleyan, Missouri S&T, and St. Joseph's are Division II independents, while Indianapolis competes as a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), and Quincy and William Jewell are both currently NAIA football schools.
"I think the addition of football will be a positive development for our league and will be well received by our football student-athletes, their coaches, and fans," said Naumovich. "We are excited to become a NCAA Division II football conference."
The GLVC's addition of football would most likely add them to the NCAA's Super Region Three in Division II football. That region includes the GLIAC, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, and the Rocky Mountain Conference.
It is also possible that the NCAA may again re-adjust the regions following the addition of football by the GLVC.
Currently, Super Region One has four conferences, Super Regions Two and Three both have three conferences, and Super Region Four has three conferences, plus the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, which is not recognized by the NCAA because the GNAC only has five football-playing schools (although the addition of the first-ever Canadian school in the NCAA, Simon Fraser, will bring the GNAC to six starting in 2011).
The addition of the GLVC is another positive step for Division II football, as it not only adds another conference, but it brings with it two new Division II football teams as Quincy and William Jewell will drop NAIA affiliation in favor of the NCAA. The addition of football will also help raise the quality of football currently being played by the GLVC schools.
The GLVC was founded in 1978, and currently sponsors championships in 17 sports. The last sport to be added by the GLVC was indoor track and field in 2000.