The University of Southern Indiana (USI) and Lindenwood University have announced that their athletic programs will be taking their teams to the Division I, according to the two universities’ websites. USI declared for Division I on Feb. 9, while Lindenwood a few weeks later made the same announcement on Feb. 23, according to the universities. Due to the two teams leaving, the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) now has thirteen teams left in the conference. According to GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich, the GLVC will be losing two top programs within the conference.
“We’ve lost some really good schools, [University of] Southern Indiana and Lindenwood [University],” Naumovich said. “Both were outstanding members and had excellent athletic programs.”
According to Naumovich, scheduling has been an issue the past few years with having an odd number of schools. With the odd number and departure of two schools, scheduling for the upcoming 2022-23 season has developed into an obstacle, according to Naumovich.
“In the short term, [the issue] it’s getting new 2022 to 2023 schedules in place for all of our coaches for all sports,” Naumovich said. “If there are open dates on their schedule now to try to provide them with some opportunity to find a non conference opponent that may or may not happen.”
Scheduling will be something the conference keeps continual tabs on, Naumovich said. He said they will be looking to expand in the future, due to only having seven football schools left in the conference.
“Long term, we would certainly like to be in a position to replace those schools at some point,” Naumovich said. “One of the more pressing issues will be for football to get back to eight football playing members at a minimum.”
However, the main priority for the GLVC is to move forward in aiding and providing services needed to teams still in the conference, according to Naumovich. He said this comes at a time where all NCAA divisions are seeing change.
“I think it’s a really interesting time in the NCAA with membership, given the fact that we just came off amending the NCAA constitution,” Naumovich said. “Division I, Division II and Division III are all now working to create their own identities within the association.”
University of Indianapolis Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Young shared similar interests and views to the recent changes made by the NCAA and scheduling for the conference. In regards to UIndy, one of the biggest challenges, according to Young, is UIndy’s time zone difference and location compared to the other 12 schools.
“I think it is challenging being the only school in the Eastern Time Zone that didn’t change with these two schools,” Young said. “We were the only school in the Eastern Time Zone prior. To where that becomes a challenge, when we travel back from a road trip, we lose an hour coming home from every competition within the GLVC.”
The time zone difference was not affected with the two schools leaving; however, with the departure of USI, UIndy is the only school left in Indiana. According to Young, UIndy Athletics are looking at all possible options for the future.
“We’re exploring, remaining in the GLVC, transitioning to the GMAC, which is another Division II conference, exploring Division I, but also exploring Division III and NAIA,” Young said. “We’re looking at every opportunity for our departments … at the end of the day, we’re going to make a decision that’s in the best interest of UIndy Athletics long term.”
As of now, the Greyhounds are still part of the remaining teams despite the challenges that may arise. According to Young, there are many scenarios that could impact UIndy’s future due to possible new teams in the GLVC or NCAA law changes. However, Young revealed that UIndy is staying put for this academic year.
“I think what I’ve shared with our campus community and the GLVC, and all of our staff is that we will be in the GLVC from 22-23,” Young said. “Anything further than that, I won’t guarantee.”