Trevecca Nazarene University

Athletic teams considering new conference

                                             Written by Mike Organ | The Tennessean

Trevecca is close to taking its next major step in moving from the NAIA to NCAA Division II.
Athletics Director Mark Elliott said the school, which was approved on a provisional basis for NCAA Division II membership in July, is negotiating with organizers from the new Great Midwest Athletic Conference.

"The big picture is that we are moving to NCAA Division II and we're excited about that," Elliott said. "But part of that is we must become part of a conference. The conference that kind of jumped out as one that would be a really good fit for us is one that is being formed, the GMAC."

Trevecca's men and women open their basketball seasons Nov. 5, and it will be the last year for the Trojans in the TranSouth Conference. Trevecca will not be eligible for the NAIA postseason after the season but will be for the National Christian College Athletic Association.

The NCAA announced on Oct. 18 that six Division II schools - Central State, Notre Dame College, Urbana, Ursuline and Cedarville in Ohio along with Kentucky Wesleyan - would form the GMAC.
Trevecca has gotten on board over the past two weeks, Elliott said.

Elliott attended meetings with the presidents and athletics directors from each of the schools bound for the GMAC.
"Trevecca is a school that I'm getting to know a little bit better now. Our president (William Brown) is very familiar with them and very much likes who they are," Cedarville AD Alan Geist said. "They're similar to us in athletics, so we're competitive with each other."

Kentucky Wesleyan is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The other five schools are Division II Independents or currently working their way through the membership process like Trevecca is.
"Those schools are very similar to us in a number of ways," Elliott said. "A lot of them, like us, are faith-based schools, but not all of them. That's good from the diversity aspect. But the mission of every school is pretty much the same."

Elliott said he also considered applying for membership in the Gulf South Conference but found that Trevecca would not fit as well. After this season Trevecca will compete as an NCAA Division II Independent until the GMAC is officially formed, possibly the fall of 2013.

Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or morgan@tennessean.com.