The number of Division II athletic conferences increased to 23 recently with the addition of the new Great American Conference in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
In addition to Ouachita Baptist University, member schools are: Arkansas Tech University in Russellville; Harding University in Searcy; Henderson State University in Arkadelphia; Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia; and the University of Arkansas at Monticello; as well as East Central University in Ada, Okla.; Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant; and Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.
The Great American Conference, which applied for membership last December, was not affected by a moratorium on new conference membership that was established at the January 2011 Convention.
The Division II Championships Committee, anticipating the approval of the conference, recommended a regional assignment for 2011-12 and beyond at its February meeting. The Division II Management Council will consider that recommendation in April; the decision will be announced at the conclusion of that meeting.
Prewitt said the Dec.1 application deadline actually fell on his first day as commissioner. He praised the work of the conference’s presidents and athletics directors in framing the application, along with the efforts of consultants Bob Oliver and Chuck Lindemann.
Prewitt added that the process itself was not only reasonable but helpful to the conference as it started operations.
“It was really very beneficial for us,” he said. “The process has helped us hone in on Division II’s identity, our principles and to really incorporate those into our working documents and how we structure things within the conference. It really was a great exercise for us because it helped us work through those things.
“Obviously, as proud members of Division II, we want to embody all of the attributes in the Division II platform. It’s exciting being a league that’s being formed after we’ve gone through all those things to differentiate ourselves.”
By David Pickle, NCAA.org