Northwestern receives membership into Great American Conference

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Northwestern receives membership into Great American Conference

May 11, 2011

Great American ConferenceThe presidents of the nine member institutions of the Great American Conference have voted unanimously to offer provisional membership to Northwestern Oklahoma State University upon the school’s acceptance into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The Great American Conference is comprised of nine institutions in Oklahoma and Arkansas competing at the NCAA Division II level. The conference will begin its first year of competition this fall. It is anticipated that Northwestern will be added to conference schedule beginning with the 2012-13 season.

Northwestern is beginning its transition from membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and into NCAA Division II. The school will make formal application to the NCAA this summer.

“We are honored to become the newest member of the Great American Conference and are excited about the opportunity that membership in this conference offers our student-athletes, coaches and fans,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president. “Northwestern is very appreciative of the confidence expressed in our university and athletic program by the unanimous vote of the presidents of the member institutions. Gaining membership in the Great American Conference certainly strengthens our efforts to gain membership in the NCAA.”

The application process to join the NCAA is a competitive one and as many as 20 schools are vying for an anticipated eight openings. Until Northwestern is accepted into NCAA membership process, the school will maintain its membership in the Sooner Athletic Conference and Central States Football League.

The Great American Conference is comprised of nine schools, three in Oklahoma and six in Arkansas. Member schools in Oklahoma include East Central University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. The schools in Arkansas include Arkansas Tech University, Harding University, Henderson State University, Ouachita Baptist University, University of Arkansas at Monticello and Southern Arkansas University. The conference also has offered provisional membership to Southern Nazarene University.

“We are looking forward to resuming the rivalries we have established with our sister institutions in Oklahoma and creating new ones with the outstanding universities in Arkansas,” said Bob Battisti, director of Athletics. “Our student-athletes will benefit from the high level of competition and the great atmosphere offered by the Great American Conference.”

-NW-