Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) is a collegiate athletic conference that participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level. The conference is currently composed of 17 full-time members within Pennsylvania, and will add a new member in West Virginia in 2019. The conference headquarters are located in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania and staffed by a commissioner, two assistant commissioners, and a director of media relations.
|Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference|
|Members||17 full members (18 in 2019–20)|
|Region||Pennsylvania (plus West Virginia in 2019–20)|
|Headquarters||Lock Haven, Pennsylvania|
|Commissioner||Steve Murray (since 1998)|
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education organized the conference in 1951 to promote competition in men's sports amongst the system's 14 universities. In 1977, following growing interest, the conference was expanded to offer competition in women's sports. From its inception, each conference member selected its own competitive division within the NCAA (I, II, or III). In 1980, however, the presidents voted to reclassify the entire conference to Division II within the NCAA.
Membership remained unchanged until the conference announced on June 18, 2007, that it had invited three private universities—Gannon University and Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania and C.W. Post of Brookville, New York—to join the conference. Gannon and Mercyhurst left the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to join the PSAC, effective July 1, 2008. C.W. Post became an associate member for football and field hockey.
In 2010, Seton Hill University was accepted to join the conference as an associate member for field hockey. With the additional transition of West Chester's program from Division I to Division II, the number of teams competing in field hockey increased from 10 to 12 for the 2011 season.
On August 19, 2012, the PSAC announced that Seton Hill and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, formerly members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), would become full members beginning with the 2013–14 school year. This announcement was fallout from a split in the WVIAC that ultimately led to the formation of the Mountain East Conference (MEC). Although Seton Hill was one of the schools that initially broke away from the WVIAC, it chose not to join the MEC. The arrival of these two schools brought the PSAC to 18 full members, making it the largest NCAA all-sports conference in terms of membership (it has since been surpassed by the Division III USA South Athletic Conference, which expanded to 19 members in 2017, although five of those members are all-female schools).
In March 2018, charter member Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, facing crises in enrollment, graduation rates, and finances, announced that it would leave NCAA Division II and the PSAC at the end of the 2017–18 school year. The school had dropped football in December 2017.
Later that year, the conference announced that it would expand into West Virginia, bringing in Shepherd University from the MEC as a full member effective with the 2019–20 school year. Shepherd will become the first full PSAC member outside of Pennsylvania.
Role in Division I conference realignmentEdit
The PSAC played a little-known but nonetheless significant role in the history of NCAA Division I conference realignment. In 1986, the conference was seeking a way out of a football scheduling conundrum. The PSAC had 14 members at the time, and had been split into divisions for decades. One of the methods it historically used to determine a football champion involved a championship game between the winners of its two divisions. However, due to NCAA limits on regular-season games, every PSAC team had to leave a schedule spot open, with only the two division winners getting to play all of their allowed regular-season games. Then-conference commissioner Tod Eberle asked Dick Yoder, then athletic director at West Chester and member of the Division II council, to draft NCAA legislation that would allow the PSAC to play a conference title game that would be exempt from regular-season limits. The initial draft required that a qualifying league have 14 members and play a round-robin schedule within each division; only the PSAC then qualified.
Before Yoder formally introduced the proposal, he was approached by the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which was interested in co-sponsoring the legislation because it was also split into football divisions and wanted the option of a championship game. Since the CIAA then had 12 members, Yoder changed the legislation to require 12 members instead of 14. Although at the time all NCAA legislation had to be approved by the entire membership, regardless of divisional alignment, the proposal passed with little notice. It was generally seen as a non-issue by Division I-A (now FBS) schools since no conference in that group then had more than 10 members. While the PSAC planned to stage its first exempt title game in 1988, it decided against doing so at that time because the D-II playoffs expanded from 8 to 16 teams that season, and it feared that the result of a title game could cost the league a playoff berth. The new NCAA rule would not see its first use until the Southeastern Conference took advantage of it by expanding to 12 members in 1991 and launching a title game the following year. In 2014, Sports Illustrated writer Andy Staples said that the rule "helped dictate the terms of conference realignment for more than 20 years."
- Seton Hill — field hockey was an affiliate member in 2011–2013.
|Shepherd University||Shepherdstown, West Virginia||1871||3,320||Rams||2019|
|Cheyney University of Pennsylvania||Cheyney||1837||1,488||Wolves||1951||2018||TBD|
Former affiliate membersEdit
|Long Island University–Post||Brookville
Full member (all sports) Full member (non-football) Associate member (football-only) Associate member (sport)
In wrestling; Bloomsburg, Clarion, Edinboro, and Lock Haven compete as members of the Division I Mid-American Conference. The PSAC held an annual championship open to all Division I and Division II teams, however with the transition of all of the former members of the Eastern Wrestling League into the MAC starting in 2019 the Division I level PSAC programs will focus on Division I level competition. The PSAC offers championships in the following sports.
|A 2-divisional format is used for baseball, basketball (M / W), football, and tennis (W).||A 3-divisional format is used for softball.||A 4-divisional format is used for volleyball.|
|Swimming & Diving|
|Track & Field Indoor|
|Track & Field Outdoor|
Men's sponsored sports by schoolEdit
Women's sponsored sports by schoolEdit
Other sponsored sports by schoolEdit
|Wrestling ‡||Bowling ‡||Field
- ‡ — D-I sport
Future member Shepherd in gray.
|School||Football stadium||Capacity||Basketball arena||Capacity||Other facilities|
|Bloomsburg||Robert B. Redman Stadium||4,775||Nelson Fieldhouse||3,000||Jan Hutchinson Field|
Danny Litwhiler Field
Steph Pettit Stadium
|California||Hepner-Bailey Field at Adamson Stadium||6,500||California University of Pennsylvania Convocation Center||6,000||Consol Energy Park|
Phillipsburg Soccer Facility
|Clarion||Memorial Field||5,000||W.S. Tippin Gymnasium||4,000|
|East Stroudsburg||Eiler-Martin Stadium||6,000||Koehler Fieldhouse||2,000||Whitenight Field|
|Edinboro||Sox Harrison Stadium||6,000||McComb Fieldhouse||3,500||Zafirovski Sports and Recreation Dome|
|Gannon||Gannon University Field||2,500||Hammermill Center||2,800|
|Indiana||George P. Miller Stadium||6,000||Ed Fry Arena||5,000||Dougherty Field|
Memorial Field House
South Campus Field
|Kutztown||University Field at Andre Reed Stadium||5,600||Keystone Field House||3,400||O'Pake Field House|
North Campus Field
|Lock Haven||Hubert Jack Stadium||3,500||Thomas Fieldhouse||2,500||Foundation Field|
Charlotte Smith Field
|Decker Gymnasium||2,000||Lutes Field|
|Mercyhurst||Louis J. Tullio Field||2,300||Mercyhurst Athletic Center||1,800||Mercyhurst Ice Center|
Mercyhurst Softball Field
|Millersville||Biemesderfer Stadium||6,500||Pucillo Gymnasium||2,850||Cooper Park|
Millersville Softball Field
|Sports Center||2,400||Point Stadium (baseball)|
|Seton Hill||Offutt Field||5,000||Salvitti Gymnasium||1,200||Dick's Sporting Goods Field|
|Shepherd||Ram Stadium||5,000||Butcher Center||N/A||Fairfax Baseball Field|
Shepherd Softball Field
|Shippensburg||Seth Grove Stadium||7,700||Heiges Field House||2,768||Robb Field|
David See Field
Art Fairchild Field
|Slippery Rock||N. Kerr Thompson Stadium||10,000||Morrow Field House||3,000||Egli Soccer Field|
|West Chester||John A. Farrell Stadium||7,500||Hollinger Field House||2,500||Vonnie Gros Field|
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The following is a list of alumni of the respective universities, including before the formation of the Conference in 1951.
- Jason Capizzi, Indiana, former Pittsburgh Panthers offensive tackle, current UFL tackle
- Curt Cignetti, Indiana, former University of Alabama recruiting coordinator, current Indiana (Pa.) head coach
- Frank Cignetti, Jr., Indiana, former University of Pittsburgh offensive coordinator
- Frank Cignetti, Sr., Indiana, former IUP and West Virginia University head coach, 1991 Division II Coach of the Year
- Rob Davis, Shippensburg, former NFL long snapper, current director of player development for the Green Bay Packers
- Doug Dennison, Kutztown, former NFL running back
- Jahri Evans, Bloomsburg, offensive guard for the New Orleans Saints
- Lawson Fiscus, Indiana, early professional football player
- David Green, Edinboro, former CFL running back, 1979 CFL's Most Outstanding Player
- Kris Griffin, Indiana, former NFL linebacker
- Bruce Harper, Kutztown, former running back/returner for the New York Jets
- Trevor Harris, Edinboro, quarterback for the Ottawa Redblacks
- Jim Haslett, Indiana, former linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets and head coach for the New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams
- Jack Henry, Indiana, former NFL assistant coach
- Greg Hopkins, Slippery Rock, former Arena Football League player
- Kevin Ingram, West Chester, wide receiver/defensive back for the Los Angeles Avengers
- Mike Jemison, Indiana, former NFL and NFL Europe running back
- Leander Jordan, Indiana, former NFL offensive tackle
- Matt Kinsinger, Slippery Rock, fullback/linebacker for the Chicago Rush
- John Kuhn, Shippensburg, running back for the Green Bay Packers
- Chuck Klausing, Indiana, College Football Hall of Fame, 1998 Class
- Bob Ligashesky Indiana, Pittsburgh Steelers special teams coach
- LeRon McCoy, Indiana, former NFL wide receiver
- Dewey McDonald, California, safety for the Indianapolis Colts
- John Mobley, Kutztown, former linebacker for the Denver Broncos
- Kevin O'Dea, Lock Haven, current New York Jets special teams coordinator
- Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana, current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver
- Ken Parrish, East Stroudsburg, former NFL punter
- Dan Radakovich, Indiana, Georgia Tech athletic director
- Andre Reed, Kutztown, Hall of Fame NFL wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins
- Robb Riddick, Millersville, former running back for the Buffalo Bills
- Sean Scott, Millersville, wide receiver/linebacker for the Philadelphia Soul
- Joe Senser, West Chester, former tight end for the Minnesota Vikings
- Ralph Tamm, West Chester, former NFL offensive guard
- Jimmy Terwilliger, East Stroudsburg, quarterback, 2005 Harlon Hill Trophy winner
- Bob Tucker, Bloomsburg, former NFL tight end
- Chris Villarrial, Indiana, former NFL offensive guard
- Andre Waters, Cheyney, former NFL defensive back
- Reggie Wells, Clarion, current NFL free agent, drafted as an offensive tackle for the Arizona Cardinals
- James Williams, Cheyney, former offensive tackle for the Chicago Bears
- Lee Woodall, West Chester, former NFL linebacker
- Josh Portis, California, Seattle Seahawks quarterback
- Dominique Curry, California, St. Louis Rams wide receiver
- Terrence Johnson, California, Indianapolis Colts cornerback
- Derrick Jones, California, Oakland Raiders wide receiver
- Gene Carpenter, Millersville, former head coach of Millersville
- Brent Grimes, Shippensburg, cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons
- James Franklin, East Stroudsburg, head coach for the Pennsylvania State University
- Tom Brookens, Mansfield, former MLB third baseman
- Mark Corey, Edinboro, former MLB pitcher
- Ryan Vogelsong, Kutztown, MLB pitcher
- Pete Vukovich, Clarion, MLB Pitcher, Cy Young Winner-Brewers
- Matt Adams, Slippery Rock, First Baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals in the MLB.
- Pat Kelly, West Chester, former MLB infielder, New York Yankees
- Joey Wendle, West Chester, MLB Infielder, Tampa Bay Rays
- Dan Altavilla, Mercyhurst, MLB Pitcher, Seattle Mariners
- Lou Trivino, slippery Rock, MLB Pitcher, Oakland Athletics
- Matt Festa, East Stroudsburg, MLB Pitcher, Seattle Mariners
- Geno Auriemma, West Chester, women's head coach at Connecticut; member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
- Del Beshore, California, former NBA point guard
- Stephen Dennis, Kutztown, Division II Player of the Year and professional player
- John Calipari, Clarion, Kentucky men's head coach, 1996 and 2008 Naismith College Coach of the Year, member of the Naismith Hall of Fame
- Mel Hankinson, Indiana, former college basketball coach including Liberty
- Jodi Kest, Slippery Rock, Akron women's basketball head coach
- C. Vivian Stringer, Slippery Rock, women's head coach at Rutgers; member of the Naismith and Women's Halls of Fame
- Nicholas Addlery, California, forward currently for the Puerto Rico Islanders and the Jamaican national team
- Raymond Bernabei, Indiana, National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association and National Soccer Hall of Fame
- Jay Hoffman, East Stroudsburg, head coach of the 1999 U.S. women's Pan American Games gold medal team, and assistant coach of the 1999 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup gold medal team
- Pedro Power, Slippery Rock, former midfielder for the Miami F.C.
- Bob Rigby, East Stroudsburg, former goalkeeper in the North American Soccer League and the U.S. national team
- "PSAC Overview". PSAC. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "PSAC invites, Gannon, Mercyhurst to be full members". The Vindicator. June 19, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "PSAC adds Gannon University and Mercyhurst College to Membership". PSAC. June 27, 2007. Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "PSAC admits C.W. Post as associate members in two sports". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. June 28, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "Seton Hill to Join PSAC as Field Hockey Associate Member". 2010-10-26.
- Rine, Shawn (August 20, 2012). "Cards, Toppers Set To Jump Into New League". The Intelligencer & Wheeling News Register. Wheeling, WV. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- "University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Seton Hill University to Join PSAC" (Press release). Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. August 19, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- Bell, Daryl (March 23, 2018). "Cheyney University dropping sports in an attempt to strengthen academics and school". The Undefeated. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- "Shepherd University to Join PSAC in 2019–20" (Press release). Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. June 7, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Staples, Andy (May 16, 2014). "Should NCAA alter title game requirements? Look at the rule's origin". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
- "Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference". Retrieved September 22, 2009.