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Shepherd leaving WVIAC

June 18, 2012|From staff reports

The conference-changing craze in college sports has reached the small-school realm.

The presidents of nine NCAA Division II universities — including Shepherd University — announced in a joint statement Monday that they will withdraw from the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and create a new regional conference in all sports.

Eight West Virginia schools — Shepherd, Charleston, Concord, Fairmont State, Glenville State, West Liberty, West Virginia State and West Virginia Wesleyan — as well as Seton Hill in Pennsylvania unanimously decided that it would be in the best interests of its institutions to pursue the formation of a new conference. 

The initial members intend to create a league with a regional footprint that would ultimately consist of 12 schools, each with a football program.

“The intent of a new conference is to align like-minded institutions in terms of budget and goals. We strongly believe that 12-member all-sports conference creates a solid foundation for its membership,” said the presidents in the statement. “The investment required for an all-sports league will level the playing field for all of its member institutions while positioning its members for growth.”

The nine schools plan to submit required documentation to the NCAA before Dec. 1.

No determinations have been made regarding a name for the new conference or its operations.

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