Colleges Returning to the NAIA

The NAIA is excited to confirm that Green Mountain College (Poultney, Vt.) is currently pursuing return admittance to the NAIA with the intention of joining the newly formed Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (NIAC) for the 2018-19 academic year. In preparation, Green Mountain announced that its athletic affiliation with the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) and the NCAA will end after the 2017-18 academic year.

“Our student-athletes are highly valued at Green Mountain and it is important to provide a positive collegiate sports experience,” said Green Mountain College President Bob Allen. “While the decision to change conferences was a difficult one, we are confident this will positively impact our players and athletics program.”

With a potential move back to the NAIA, Green Mountain would be returning to competition under a sport governing body where it achieved tremendous success from the late 1980s through the early 2000s. Throughout that time, Green Mountain teams won over 45 conference championships and nine regional championships.

“We’re excited at the prospect of Green Mountain returning to the NAIA,” said Jim Carr, NAIA president and CEO. “We’re seeing an increased interest from NCAA DII and DIII schools looking to compete at a high level, recruit quality student-athletes, and reduce costs. Like Green Mountain, many of these institutions believe the NAIA will help them better meet these needs.”

“We are pleased about having the chance to return to the forum in which so many of our alumni are familiar and enjoyed great success,” said Shipley. “The NIAC would offer an excellent opportunity for the growth of Green Mountain athletics while easing some of the financial responsibilities associated with being an NCAA Division III member.”

The NIAC includes Fisher College of Boston (Mass.), the University of Maine – Fort Kent, State University of New York (SUNY) Delhi, Villa Maria College of Buffalo, N.Y., and College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vt. Fisher College is an NAIA member. CSJ, UMFK and SUNY Delhi hold dual affiliation in both the NAIA and the United States Collegiate Athletics Association (USCAA). Villa Maria College is a member of the USCAA. Typically, athletics conferences are made up of institutions that all hold the same association affiliation, so the NIAC represents a creative and unique endeavor on the part of these institutions.

All NAIA membership applications are reviewed by the NAIA membership evaluation team and campus visits are conducted prior to recommendations being made to the NAIA Council of Presidents in April 2018. If approved, membership becomes effective July 1.

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