Texas A&M-Commerce and the Southland Conference confirmed the Lions' move to NCAA Division I on Tuesday. TAMU-Commerce will begin its four-year transition to Division I on July 2, 2022.
"It is a distinct honor to join the Southland Conference," Texas A&M-Commerce President Mark J. Rudin proclaimed in accepting the Southland's invitation. "This decision was made with feedback from several key constituent groups at the university – led by our student body leadership. Careful and thoughtful consideration was given to assessing the opportunity to compete at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics. As we finalized our decision, it became evident that this exciting initiative is squarely aligned with our institutional mission to Educate, Discover, and Achieve."
"It is a tremendous honor and opportunity to welcome Texas A&M University-Commerce, a noted institution of higher education with an outstanding athletic history, into the Southland Conference," Southland commissioner Tom Burnett said. "We have every expectation that A&M-Commerce will become an outstanding member of NCAA Division I and the Southland Conference, continuing its long championships tradition of competing for league titles and national tournament berths."
TAMU-Commerce is the lone remaining charter member of the Lone Star Conference and becomes the second school to depart the LSC for Division I with Tarleton joining the WAC in July 2020.
The Lions' departure leaves the LSC with only seven member institutions that sponsor football.
“Earlier today, Texas A&M-Commerce submitted its official notification of withdrawal from the Lone Star Conference, effective June 30, 2022," LSC commissioner Jay Poerner said in a statement. "As a valued member of the LSC since its inception, we are disappointed to see them go but wish them well in their transition. The LSC is one of the largest and most distinguished conferences in NCAA Division II and our membership remains committed to building upon the leagues’ rich history of academic and athletic success.”
The original story is below.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has confirmed that Texas A&M-Commerce will begin transitioning to NCAA Division and join the Southland Conference. This was first reported by CBS Sports.
The announcement will be on Tuesday, September 28, according to a statement on the Lions athletics website Friday afternoon.
“Texas A&M University-Commerce will be holding public events in Commerce and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on Tuesday, September 28, related to a special announcement which will have significant impact on the institution and its intercollegiate athletics program,” the statement said.
TAMU-Commerce is one of the original members of the Lone Star Conference and was the 2017 national champion.
The Lions’ move to the Southland comes after Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Abilene Christian, and Lamar departed for the Western Athletic Conference in July.
This is another blow to the Lone Star Conference football members. With the departure of Tarleton in 2020 and TAMU-Commerce, the conference will be left with seven members who currently sponsor football.
This will be updated as necessary
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