Thomas More College is leaving NCAA Division III and heading to NAIA in 2019. Thomas More was a member of NAIA from 1947 to 1990 prior to joining the NCAA.
TMC will be joining the Mid-South Conference on July 1, 2019.
Here are details from the school:
Press release from Thomas More College:
(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – Thomas More College Director of Athletics, Terry Connor, announced today (Tuesday, July 24, 2018) that Thomas More will move to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Mid-South Conference effective July 1, 2019. Thomas More was a member of the NAIA from 1947 to 1990 when it left for the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, which it will leave at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year.
“In our conversations with representatives of the NAIA, their dedication to placing student development first was evident,” stated Acting Thomas More President Dr. Kathleen Jagger. “Their character focus is consistent with our institutional mission. We are delighted to have this opportunity to join a competitive conference, with common academic standards and geographic proximity that will minimize the travel time for our student-athletes.”
The NAIA has over 250 member institutions, which have an average full-time enrollment of 1,700 students. The NAIA’s focus on character-driven athletics is exemplified in its Champions of Character program. Champions of Character provides training for student-athletes and professional development for coaches and staff. The values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership are put into play and accounted for at NAIA institutions. Part of the Champions of Character program is LIVE 5 Training for student-athletes, which focuses on modeling, leading and building values-based skills for life after college.
Academically the NAIA is known for its “Play NAIA” eligibility center. The Play NAIA program functions similarly to the NCAA Division I and II Clearinghouse. The NAIA evaluates students’ ACT/SAT scores, grade point averages, and class ranks in order to determine if student-athletes are eligible to compete in NAIA athletics.
Thomas More will also be joining the Mid-South, a NAIA conference with eight core member institutions in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Georgia. The member institutions are: Campbellsville University, Cumberland University, Georgetown College, Life University, Lindsey Wilson College, Shawnee State University, University of Pikeville and University of the Cumberlands. The Saints have old rivalries with a majority of the member institutions that date back to Thomas More’s former membership in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC). The Mid-South sponsors 27 varsity sports, but also offers junior varsity (JV) schedules, which enable a greater number of students to participate in intercollegiate athletics.
“The NAIA and the Mid-South offer great rivalries and competition with academically sound institutions,” stated Connor. “Thomas More is excited to be going back home to the NAIA and the Mid-South Conference.”
“The Mid-South Conference is excited to welcome Thomas More College as our newest full-member institution,” said Mid-South Commissioner Eric Ward. “Thomas More is a great fit, academically and athletically, and its membership will only enhance the Mid-South’s reputation and competitiveness. We welcome Acting President Jagger, director of athletics Terry Connor and the coaches, staff and student-athletes at Thomas More to the Mid-South Conference and the NAIA.”
For information on NAIA visit www.naia.org and for information on the Mid-South visit www.mid-southconference.org.
Thomas More will compete in the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) in NCAA Division III during the upcoming season.
The nine members of the ACAA in 2018-19 are: Alfred State College, Finlandia University, Mills College, Mount Mary College, SUNY Delhi, Pine Manor College, Pratt Institute, Thomas More College and University of Valley Forge.