Texas Lutheran announced its football program will join the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2024, which is one year earlier than expected. The Bulldogs were an affiliate member of the American Southwest Conference since 2016. Now, all of TLU’s 18 NCAA sponsored sports will compete in the same conference.
"Texas Lutheran University is thankful for the opportunities that our affiliate membership in the ASC provided for the last seven seasons. The ASC is a very strong football conference,” TLU athletic director Bill Miller said in a press release. “However, TLU is tremendously excited about playing SCAC Football. The SCAC has been a good fit for TLU and it is going to be great to have all of our sports programs playing in the same conference once again."
"I give a lot of credit to the football coaches and athletic directors at Austin College, Centenary, McMurry and Lyon for their willingness to adjust their schedules in order to bring Texas Lutheran aboard a season earlier,” SCAC president Dwayne Hanberry said. “Once TLU expressed an interest in beginning their SCAC football journey in 2024, everyone was very excited to do what we could to accommodate their request."
The news has no effect on the current status of the ASC, with the Bulldogs leaving one year earlier than expected. With only four schools sponsoring football in the ASC next year, the two-year clock the conference faces to maintain its automatic bid status is set to begin with the 2024 season. That clock was set to start regardless of TLU remaining an affiliate member since six schools are needed to qualify for an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs.
The ASC has not commented on the announcement or responded to a request for comment at this time.
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