MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Ohio Valley University has been approved as a provisional member of the River States Conference.
Pending the university’s reinstatement as a member of the NAIA, the Fighting Scots would become full members of the RSC on July 1, 2021.
Ohio Valley is a past member of the NAIA and is a current member of NCAA Division II. If granted reinstatement to the NAIA, the Fighting Scots would become a full member of the River States Conference and would be immediately eligible for conference and national postseason competition for the 2021-22 school year.
“Our goal is to strengthen our athletic programs in all ways possible,” said Ohio Valley President Michael Ross. “At this point in our university’s history, we feel this is the best move for us. The River States Conference fits for us a better geographical area for travel, the types of schools we play, and it just fits who we are as a university.”
“We are thinking about the history. We are thinking about the future. And in order for us to move forward in the best way, our move is to go to the NAIA and be a part of the River States Conference.”
“We are excited to welcome the Fighting Scots of Ohio Valley University to the River States Conference,” said RSC Commissioner Michael Schell. “As a smaller, faith-based university, they fit in well with our conference. We look forward to being able to add them as full members and have them compete with us in the fall.”
Located in Vienna, W.Va., Ohio Valley has been a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference of NCAA Division II since 2013. The Fighting Scots sponsor 16 sports with eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams.
OVU competes in 15 of the RSC’s 17 championship sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, softball and volleyball. The Fighting Scots also sponsor a wrestling team.
For the 2020-21 school year, the RSC has 13 member institutions. St. Mary of the Woods (Ind.) College will become members on July 1, 2021. Ohio Valley would increase RSC membership to 15 schools pending its NAIA reinstatement.
The River States Conference was founded in 1916 as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The league underwent a re-branding to best reflect its current membership and changed its name to the River States Conference on July 1, 2016.
The RSC has 13 member institutions representing five states — Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.