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