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Oklahoma Lawmaker Wants To Explore An All-Oklahoma Division II League

Southern Nazarene University

Conference realignment isn’t just something for big universities to consider.

In a legislative interim study last week, Rep. Mark Vancuren, R-Owasso, brought together lawmakers and university leaders to talk about a potential Oklahoma Athletic Conference, which would unite the state’s 11 Division II members in one athletic conference.

“Whether or not this ever comes about, I have no idea,” Vancuren said.

The idea was first reported by CNHI’s Janelle Stecklein in July.

The all-Oklahoma league could cut travel time, lowering costs for games and invigorate in-state rivalries that foster school pride, Vancuren said.

But, he was met with opposition from some leaders of Division 2 schools.

They say the savings likely wouldn’t defray the costs for creating a new league, both for start-up and exit fees to leave the three conferences schools already belong to. On top of that, it would make recruiting out-of-state athletes more difficult, and the NCAA might not allow the schools to create a new conference anyway.

“But I think that it is important we try to see what the impacts are going to be — negative and positive impacts — and that’s why I wanted to look into this,” he said.

Oklahoma’s 11 Division II schools are:

  • Cameron Aggies
  • Central Oklahoma Bronchos
  • East Central Tigers
  • Northeastern State RiverHawks
  • Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers
  • Oklahoma Baptist Bison
  • Oklahoma Christian Eagles and Lady Eagles
  • Rogers State Hillcats
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State Savage Storm
  • Southern Nazarene Crimson Storm
  • Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs
Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
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