Bye Bye WVIAC?

This Glenville State football team would have been something special any year given their conference record.  Although it isn’t official yet, the Pioneers could go onto be on top of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Association Conference forever with a win over Shepherd. That is because one of the largest and oldest Division 2 conferences is breaking up. Yes for those of you unaware the WVIAC is separating and Glenville State is one of many members who potentially will be joining the Mountain East Conference.

The Mountain East Conference is far from being created just yet but several steps have taken place that look bad for the WVIAC. First, Seton Hill University and University of Pitt Johnstown, who joined the conference in 2006, have already made it official that they will be joining the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The move seems especially shocking when one considers the amount of success that Seton Hill had within the conference. However, that isn’t the only thing that spells bad news for the WVIAC. The Mountain East Conference proposal already has the interest of 12 teams. Eight of those teams Glenville is quite familiar with. The University of Charleston,Concord, Shepherd, West Virginia State, West Virginia Wesleyan, West Liberty, Wheeling Jesuit, and conference rival Fairmont State. Three new foes will also be on the schedule for the Pioneers if the proposed conference goes through. Notre Dame College(Ohio), Urbana University(Ohio), and The University of Virginia College at Wise are all planning to be part of the initial Mountain East Conference. Lastly, Ohio Valley University, Davis and Elkins College, and Alderson Broaddus College all have jumped the ship as well but as members of the Great Midwest Conference.

The move to the Mountain East Conference is sure to change many things for Glenville and all former members of the WVIAC if it does occur. The WVIAC has been around since 1924 and the conference has seen many changes. Back then key members of the conference were West Virginia University and Marshall University. In 1933 another current Division One member was a part of the conference in Morehead State. The conference was able to survive these significant members leaving the conference but if the Mountain East Conference is formed that will leave only Bluefield State College in the WVIAC with not much chance for expansion within the state because Salem International also is joining the Great Midwest Conference and that only leaves NAIA member WVU Tech to seek out too. Times have never looked so grim for the WVIAC but the new conference should be something special for the student-athletes at Glenville State college.


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