Southland Conference adds New Orleans
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Friday, August 24, 2012
8/24/12 at 5:39 AM
After Oral Roberts' University's new league - the Southland Conference - made site visits to three potential new members, the question became how many of the auditioning schools would be invited to join?
It's all of the above.
The Southland Conference announced Thursday that the University of New Orleans is jumping aboard, effective July 1, 2013.
Earlier this week, the league announced that Incarnate Word in San Antonio had accepted an invitation to join. And Abilene Christian announced it had received an invitation. Abilene Christian officials are expected to make a membership announcement Saturday.
Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word compete in the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference, but will transition to Division I.
New Orleans is a Division I independent that competed in the Sun Belt Conference until 2010.
"As was the previous case with recent expansion with institutions in large cities such as Houston, San Antonio and Tulsa, the Southland Conference membership greatly values the importance of the City of New Orleans," Southland commissioner Tom Burnett said in a press release.
"As a destination city in the Southland's geographic footprint, New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area will prove to be very beneficial for the conference as we plan a great future with our newest university partner."
ORU, previously a member of the Summit League, is a first-year member of the Southland Conference. Geography was a major reason the Golden Eagles switched conferences. Southland members are located in a four-state (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma) region.
During the current academic year, ORU will share a league with Central Arkansas, Lamar, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Sam Houston State, Southeastern Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
In addition to previously mentioned new members, Houston Baptist will begin Southland competition during the 2013-14 academic year. The Southland announced the addition of Houston Baptist last November.
Original Print Headline: New Orleans will join Southland
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389