The Lincoln University-Jefferson City and Southwest Baptist University (Bolivar, Mo.), football teams will join the Great Lakes Valley Conference as an associate members beginning with the 2014 season. The GLVC and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association made a joint announcement on Wednesday (Oct. 2).

The MIAA and the GLVC, both NCAA Division II conferences, have entered into a Strategic Conference Football Scheduling Alliance (SCFSA) that will allow both Lincoln and Southwest Baptist  to join the GLVC as associate football-only members. Both schools remain full, active members of the MIAA and will continue to compete in that league in every other sport.

The SCFSA will allow Lincoln more scheduling flexibility for the future and provides several benefits to both conferences. With the MIAA moving to a full conference-only schedule, Lincoln was limited in its opportunities to schedule non-conference opponents such as Grambling State, whom the Blue Tigers defeated in Kansas City, Mo., 47-34, on Sept. 14. The move to the GLVC gives Lincoln a greater ability to schedule more contests similar to The Missouri Classic as well as the chance to renew rivalries with other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

With Lincoln University and Southwest Baptist University, which had also expressed an interest to schedule more non-league games, both moving to the GLVC in football, the MIAA is left with 12 football-playing members and can now create an 11-week schedule that allows all schools to play each other, allowing the league to crown a true conference champion. The SCFSA also allows the GLVC to continue to grow and stabilize its football membership while addressing challenges its membership had faced regarding scheduling non-conference contests.