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Ursuline Forms New Athletic Conference

June 07, 2011

Four Ohio institutions announce the formation of a new Midwestern regional athletic conference with the goal of becoming an NCAA Division II approved conference.

Charter members of the new league are Cedarville University, Notre Dame College, Urbana University, and Ursuline College.

The presidents and athletic directors of the four institutions recently met to finalize the venture. Immediate plans call for the group to include one another in scheduling while at the same time discussing membership with other interested institutions.

The charter members have also entered into an agreement with O&L Athletic Consulting, an experienced firm with expertise in advising schools and conferences in the Division II membership process, to provide assistance in the development of the new athletic conference.

Urbana University, located in the west central Ohio city of Urbana, is already a full Division II active member. The Blue Knights completed the three-year NCAA membership process in June, 2010.

Cedarville University, situated in southwestern Ohio, 25 miles east of Dayton, is in Candidacy Year Two with the NCAA.

Notre Dame College, located east of Cleveland in the suburb of South Euclid, is also in Candidacy Year Two with the NCAA.

Ursuline College, with its campus in Pepper Pike just minutes away from Notre Dame, is in Year One Candidacy. The Arrows compete in women’s athletics only.

Other schools have already expressed an interest in joining the new conference. Thus, the group intends to move quickly with the development of membership requirements, constitution and by-laws, and sport guidelines. An office staff, including a commissioner and other league personnel, are also in the works.

The formation of this new conference, which will be officially named at a later date, will provide an opportunity for institutions that are in geographical proximity and have common missions and direction to enhance NCAA Division II in the region.

Growth in membership will be primary as the conference develops.  Even though Division II has a moratorium on new conferences until August 2013, this region needs to organize for future NCAA Division II competition.

With this in mind, the new Midwestern regional athletic conference aims to position itself to be a fully operational conference by the time the NCAA moratorium is lifted and be positively reviewed by the Membership Committee.

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“We are excited to partner with Notre Dame, Urbana, and Ursuline in the development of a new athletic conference,” stated Cedarville University President Dr. William Brown. “As we move forward in the NCAA Division II membership process, we are committed to establishing a conference that will provide quality academic and athletic opportunities that our students deserve.”

Dr. Stephen Jones, president of Urbana University, added, “We are excited to create a regional conference that will offer spirited NCAA Division II competition among like-minded institutions and provide post-season championship play to our student athletes. We’re pleased to be a charter member of what we know will expand to become an exemplary conference for D-II intercollegiate athletics.”

Notre Dame President Dr. Andrew P. Roth commented that the formation of a new NCAA Division II conference, “provides a rich opportunity for colleges in Ohio and the surrounding region to offer student-athletes the benefits of high level athletic competition within the NCAA's commitment to ‘life in the balance’ - quality academics, quality athletics and quality student life.”

Ursuline College President Sister Diana Stano remarked, “I believe this is an exciting time for schools in this region to establish a new conference. With the recent changes in the membership criteria, this new conference will add a positive presence among the already existing conferences and be a strong advocate for ‘life in the balance’ and the recent positioning platform for D-II schools.”

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