By David Pickle
Four institutions recently were approved as active members of Division II and will assume full membership in the division beginning September 1.
The institutions are King College (Tennessee), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), the University of Illinois Springfield, and Urbana University. The Division II Membership Committee approved the new members at its recent summer meeting in Indianapolis.
All four institutions completed Division II’s provisional-member process. King, Illinois Springfield and Urbana previously were affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Lincoln reclassified from Division III.
The Membership Committee also announced that applications for membership have been accepted by the following institutions: Black Hills State University, California Baptist University, Lindenwood University, Malone University, McKendree University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Ursuline College and Walsh University. Their class also will include Lambuth University, which was held back for its first year of candidacy.
Nine institutions in Arkansas and Oklahoma announced Tuesday that they plan to apply for permission to create a new Division II conference.
Six of the nine institutions are from Arkansas: the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas Tech University, Harding University, Henderson State University, Ouachita Baptist University and Southern Arkansas University. The other three are East Central University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
The six Arkansas schools currently are members of the Gulf South Conference and the three Oklahoma schools currently compete in the Lone Star Conference. The move will leave the Gulf South Conference with eight members, five of which sponsor football. The Lone Star Conference recently announced the addition of University of the Incarnate Word.
In other conference news, Conference Carolinas recently announced the addition of King College and North Greenville University. Conference member institutions voted unanimously to accept both schools and expand the league to 13 teams.
Both schools are NCAA Division II members and already play many Conference Carolinas members. The scheduling of sports participation starting in the fall of 2011 will allow sufficient time for scheduling changes and orientation to conference membership responsibilities and requirements. Both schools enter the conference as independent Division II members.