Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference

Last updated
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference logo.svg
Established1951 (1951)
Association NCAA
Division Division II
Members18 full members
Sports fielded
  • 23
    • men's: 11
    • women's: 12
Region Pennsylvania and West Virginia
Headquarters Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
CommissionerSteve Murray (since 1998)
Website www.psacsports.org
Locations
PSAC Locations and Divisions.png

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) is a collegiate athletic conference that participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level. The conference is currently composed of 17 full-time members within Pennsylvania and 1 in West Virginia. The conference headquarters are located in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania and staffed by a commissioner, two assistant commissioners, and a director of media relations.

Contents

History

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education organized the conference in 1951 to promote competition in men's sports amongst the system's 14 universities. In 1977, following growing interest, the conference was expanded to offer competition in women's sports. From its inception, each conference member selected its own competitive division within the NCAA (I, II, or III). In 1980, however, the presidents voted to reclassify the entire conference to Division II within the NCAA. [1]

Membership remained unchanged until the conference announced on June 18, 2007, that it had invited three private universities—Gannon University and Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania and C.W. Post of Brookville, New York—to join the conference. [2] Gannon and Mercyhurst left the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to join the PSAC, effective July 1, 2008. [3] C.W. Post became an associate member for football and field hockey. [4]

In 2010, Seton Hill University was accepted to join the conference as an associate member for field hockey. With the additional transition of West Chester's program from Division I to Division II, the number of teams competing in field hockey increased from 10 to 12 for the 2011 season. [5]

On August 19, 2012, the PSAC announced that Seton Hill and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, formerly members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), would become full members beginning with the 2013–14 school year. This announcement was fallout from a split in the WVIAC that ultimately led to the formation of the Mountain East Conference (MEC). Although Seton Hill was one of the schools that initially broke away from the WVIAC, it chose not to join the MEC. [6] The arrival of these two schools brought the PSAC to 18 full members, making it the largest NCAA all-sports conference in terms of membership at that time. [7] (The PSAC now shares the distinction of largest NCAA all-sports conference with another D-II league, the Lone Star Conference, and the D-III USA South Athletic Conference. The USA South will expand to 19 members in 2021–22.)

In March 2018, charter member Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, facing crises in enrollment, graduation rates, and finances, announced that it would leave NCAA Division II and the PSAC at the end of the 2017–18 school year. The school had dropped football in December 2017. [8]

Later that year, the conference announced that it would expand into West Virginia, bringing in Shepherd University from the MEC as a full member effective with the 2019–20 school year. Shepherd is the first full PSAC member outside of Pennsylvania. [9]

Role in Division I conference realignment

The PSAC played a little-known but nonetheless significant role in the history of NCAA Division I conference realignment. In 1986, the conference was seeking a way out of a football scheduling conundrum. The PSAC had 14 members at the time, and had been split into divisions for decades. One of the methods it historically used to determine a football champion involved a championship game between the winners of its two divisions. However, due to NCAA limits on regular-season games, every PSAC team had to leave a schedule spot open, with only the two division winners getting to play all of their allowed regular-season games. Then-conference commissioner Tod Eberle asked Dick Yoder, then athletic director at West Chester and member of the Division II council, to draft NCAA legislation that would allow the PSAC to play a conference title game that would be exempt from regular-season limits. The initial draft required that a qualifying league have 14 members and play a round-robin schedule within each division; only the PSAC then qualified. [10]

Before Yoder formally introduced the proposal, he was approached by the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which was interested in co-sponsoring the legislation because it was also split into football divisions and wanted the option of a championship game. Since the CIAA then had 12 members, Yoder changed the legislation to require 12 members instead of 14. Although at the time all NCAA legislation had to be approved by the entire membership, regardless of divisional alignment, the proposal passed with little notice. It was generally seen as a non-issue by Division I-A (now FBS) schools since no conference in that group then had more than 10 members. While the PSAC planned to stage its first exempt title game in 1988, it decided against doing so at that time because the D-II playoffs expanded from 8 to 16 teams that season, and it feared that the result of a title game could cost the league a playoff berth. The new NCAA rule would not see its first use until the Southeastern Conference took advantage of it by expanding to 12 members in 1991 and launching a title game the following year. In 2014, then- Sports Illustrated writer Andy Staples said that the rule "helped dictate the terms of conference realignment for more than 20 years." [10]

Member schools

Current members

InstitutionLocationFoundedTypeEnrollmentNicknameColorsJoined
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 1839Public (PASSHE)9,512 Huskies          1951
California University of Pennsylvania California, Pennsylvania 1852Public (PASSHE)9,017 Vulcans          1951
Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion, Pennsylvania 1867Public (PASSHE)7,346 Golden Eagles          1951
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 1893Public (PASSHE)7,576 Warriors          1951
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro, Pennsylvania 1857Public (PASSHE)8,286 Fighting Scots          1951
Gannon University Erie, Pennsylvania 1925Private (Catholic)4,238 Golden Knights          2008
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Indiana, Pennsylvania 1875Public (PASSHE)14,638 Crimson Hawks          1951
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown, Pennsylvania 1866Public (PASSHE)10,634 Golden Bears          1951
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 1870Public (PASSHE)5,329 Bald Eagles          1951
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield, Pennsylvania 1857Public (PASSHE)3,569 Mountaineers          1951
Mercyhurst University Erie, Pennsylvania 1926Private (Catholic)3,217 Lakers          2008
Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville, Pennsylvania 1855Public (PASSHE)8,427 Marauders          1951
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Johnstown, Pennsylvania 1927Public (State-related)3,032 Mountain Cats          2013
Seton Hill University Greensburg, Pennsylvania 1883Private (Catholic)2,014 Griffins          2013
Shepherd University Shepherdstown, West Virginia 1871Public3,320 Rams   2019
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shippensburg, Pennsylvania 1871Public (PASSHE)8,253 Raiders          1951
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania 1889Public (PASSHE)8,648 The Rock          1951
West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, Pennsylvania 1871Public (PASSHE)17,719 Golden Rams          1951

Former member

InstitutionLocationFoundedTypeEnrollmentNicknameColorsJoinedLeftCurrent
conference
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Cheyney, Pennsylvania 1837Public (PASSHE)1,488 Wolves          19512018TBD

Former affiliate members

InstitutionLocationFoundedTypeNicknameJoinedLeftSportPrimary
conference
Long Island University–Post Brookville, New York 1954 Private (Nonsectarian) Pioneers 20082013field hockey;
football
Northeast Conference [lower-alpha 1]
  1. While LIU Post was a full member of the East Coast Conference (ECC) from 1989 to 2019, neither of its PSAC sports were sponsored by the ECC. In 2013, Post moved both of its PSAC sports to the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10). In July 2019, Long Island University merged its two athletic programs—the LIU Post Pioneers and the Division I LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds—into a single Division I athletic program, the LIU Sharks. The merged program inherited Brooklyn's memberships in Division I and the Northeast Conference (NEC). Sports that had been sponsored by both campuses (among them field hockey) maintained LIU Brooklyn's NEC membership; sports that had been sponsored only by Post (among them football) became NEC members.

Membership timeline

Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference

 Full member (all sports)  Full member (non-football)  Associate member (football-only)  Associate member (sport) 

Sports

In wrestling; Bloomsburg, Clarion, Edinboro, and Lock Haven compete as members of the Division I Mid-American Conference. The PSAC held an annual championship open to all Division I and Division II teams, however with the transition of all of the former members of the Eastern Wrestling League into the MAC starting in 2019 the Division I level PSAC programs will focus on Division I level competition. The PSAC offers championships in the following sports. [11]

A 2-divisional format is used for baseball, basketball (M / W), football, and tennis (W).A 3-divisional format is used for softball.A 4-divisional format is used for volleyball.
East
  • Bloomsburg
  • East Stroudsburg
  • Kutztown
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
  • Millersville
  • Shepherd
  • Shippensburg
  • West Chester
West
  • California
  • Clarion
  • Edinboro
  • Gannon
  • IUP
  • Mercyhurst
  • Pitt–Johnstown
  • Seton Hill
  • Slippery Rock
East
  • East Stroudsburg
  • Kutztown
  • Millersville
  • Shepherd
  • Shippensburg
  • West Chester
Central
  • Bloomsburg
  • Clarion
  • IUP
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
  • Pitt–Johnstown
West
  • California
  • Edinboro
  • Gannon
  • Mercyhurst
  • Seton Hill
  • Slippery Rock
Central
  • Bloomsburg
  • East Stroudsburg
  • Kutztown
  • Lock Haven
  • Millersville
Northwest
  • Clarion
  • Edinboro
  • Gannon
  • Mercyhurst
  • Slippery Rock
Southeast
  • Millersville
  • Shepherd
  • Shippensburg
  • West Chester
Southwest
  • California
  • IUP
  • Pitt–Johnstown
  • Seton Hill
Conference sports
SportMen'sWomen's
Baseball Green check.svg
Basketball Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Cross Country Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Field Hockey Green check.svg
Football Green check.svg
Golf Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Lacrosse Green check.svg
Soccer Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Softball Green check.svg
Swimming & Diving Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Tennis Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Track & Field Indoor Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Track & Field Outdoor Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Volleyball Green check.svg
Wrestling Green check.svg

Men's sponsored sports by school

SchoolBaseballBasketballCross
Country
FootballGolfSoccerSwimming
& Diving
TennisTrack
& Field
Indoor
Track
& Field
Outdoor
WrestlingTotal
PSAC
Sports
BloomsburgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
CaliforniaGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
ClarionGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg5
East StroudsburgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
EdinboroGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
GannonGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
IndianaGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
KutztownGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
Lock HavenGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
MansfieldGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg5
MercyhurstGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
MillersvilleGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
Pittsburgh–JohnstownGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
Seton HillGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
ShepherdGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
ShippensburgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
Slippery RockGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
West ChesterGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
Totals171815169137711138134

Women's sponsored sports by school

SchoolBasketballCross
Country
Field
Hockey
GolfLacrosseSoccerSoftballSwimming
& Diving
TennisTrack
& Field
Indoor
Track
& Field
Outdoor
VolleyballTotal
PSAC
Sports
BloomsburgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
CaliforniaGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
ClarionGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
East StroudsburgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg12
EdinboroGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
GannonGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
IndianaGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg11
KutztownGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg12
Lock HavenGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
MansfieldGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
MercyhurstGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
MillersvilleGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg12
Pittsburgh–JohnstownGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
Seton HillGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg11
ShepherdGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
ShippensburgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg11
Slippery RockGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
West ChesterGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg12
Totals181711101418181214151517179

    Other sponsored sports by school

    SchoolMenWomen
    Ice
    Hockey [lower-alpha 1]
    LacrosseWater
    Polo [lower-alpha 2]
    Wrestling [lower-alpha 3] Acrobatics &
    Tumbling [lower-alpha 4]
    Bowling [lower-alpha 2] Equestrian [lower-alpha 4] Field
    Hockey [lower-alpha 5]
    Gymnastics [lower-alpha 2] Ice
    Hockey [lower-alpha 1]
    RowingRugby [lower-alpha 4] Water
    Polo [lower-alpha 2]
    Wrestling [lower-alpha 4]
    Bloomsburg MAC
    Clarion MAC
    East StroudsburgINDIND
    Edinboro MAC
    Gannon CWPA IND WWPA IND
    KutztownIND ECC
    Lock Haven MAC A-10 IND
    Mercyhurst AHA G-MAC CWPA CHA IND WWPA
    Seton Hill G-MAC IND
    West Chester ECAC NIRA
    1. 1 2 De facto Division I sport. In both men's and women's ice hockey, the top-level national championship tournament is open to members of Divisions I and II.
    2. 1 2 3 4 De facto Division I sport. These sports have a single NCAA championship open to members of all three divisions.
    3. The PSAC members listed in this table all compete in Division I men's wrestling.
    4. 1 2 3 4 Part of the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program.
    5. Lock Haven competes in Division I field hockey.

    In addition to the above:

    • Edinboro sponsors coeducational varsity teams in esports and wheelchair basketball.
    • Gannon recognizes its cheerleaders (both male and female) and all-female dance team as varsity athletes.
    • Mansfield fields a varsity team in sprint football, a weight-restricted form of football played under standard NCAA rules but governed outside the NCAA.
    • Mercyhurst sponsors two separate teams in the non-NCAA sport of men's rowing—one heavyweight and one lightweight.
    • Shepherd and West Chester recognize their female cheerleaders, but not their male ones, as varsity athletes.

    Championships

    Conference venues

    SchoolFootball stadiumCapacityBasketball arenaCapacityOther facilities
    Bloomsburg Robert B. Redman Stadium 4,775Nelson Fieldhouse3,000Jan Hutchinson Field
    Danny Litwhiler Field
    Steph Pettit Stadium
    California Hepner-Bailey Field at Adamson Stadium 6,500 California University of Pennsylvania Convocation Center 4,000 Wild Things Park
    Phillipsburg Soccer Facility
    Lilley Field
    Hamer Hall
    ClarionMemorial Field5,000W.S. Tippin Gymnasium4,000
    East StroudsburgEiler-Martin Stadium6,000Koehler Fieldhouse2,000Whitenight Field
    Mitterling Field
    Zimbar Field
    Edinboro Sox Harrison Stadium 6,000McComb Fieldhouse3,500Zafirovski Sports and Recreation Dome
    GannonMcConnell Family Stadium2,500 Hammermill Center 2,800
    IUP George P. Miller Stadium 6,000 Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex 6,000Dougherty Field
    Podbielski Field
    Memorial Field House
    South Campus Field
    Kutztown University Field at Andre Reed Stadium 5,600Keystone Field House3,400O'Pake Field House
    Keystone Field
    North Campus Field
    Lock Haven Hubert Jack Stadium 3,500Thomas Fieldhouse2,500Foundation Field
    Lawrence Field
    Charlotte Smith Field
    Zimmerli Gymnasium
    Mansfield
    non-football school
    Decker Gymnasium2,000Lutes Field
    Spaulding Field
    Shaute Field
    Soccer Field
    MercyhurstLouis J. Tullio Field2,300Mercyhurst Athletic Center1,800 Mercyhurst Ice Center
    Mercyhurst Softball Field
    MillersvilleBiemesderfer Stadium6,500Pucillo Gymnasium2,850Cooper Park
    Millersville Softball Field
    Pittsburgh–Johnstown
    non-football school
    Sports Center2,400 Point Stadium (baseball)
    Seton Hill Offutt Field 5,000Salvitti Gymnasium1,200Dick's Sporting Goods Field
    Shepherd Ram Stadium 5,000Butcher CenterN/AFairfax Baseball Field
    Shepherd Softball Field
    Shippensburg Seth Grove Stadium 7,700Heiges Field House2,768Robb Field
    David See Field
    Art Fairchild Field
    Slippery Rock N. Kerr Thompson Stadium 10,000Morrow Field House3,000Egli Soccer Field
    Critchfield Park
    West Chester John A. Farrell Stadium 7,500Hollinger Field House2,500Vonnie Gros Field
    Serpico Stadium

    Notable alumni

    The following is a list of alumni of the respective universities, including before the formation of the Conference in 1951.

    Vivian Stringer C Vivian Stringer.jpg
    Vivian Stringer
    Kurt Angle Kurt Angle 2005-08-21.jpg
    Kurt Angle

    Football

    Baseball

    Basketball

    Soccer

    Olympians

    See also

    Related Research Articles

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