WHEELING - West Liberty University is among nine football-playing schools leaving the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, according to published reports.
The plan calls for the new, yet-to-be-named league to begin competition in the fall of 2013.
Reid Amos, vice president of broadcasting at West Liberty and spokesman for the new conference, said in the report the move was made due to the desire to create a conference of like-minded football-playing schools.
"The consensus among the leadership of the WVIAC institutions currently playing football is that it is in the best interest of their institutions to align as part of a new 12-member, all-sports conference that will create increased exposure for its members across a regional footprint,'' Amos said in the report.
Breaking away with West Liberty are Charleston, Concord, Fairmont State, Glenville State, Seton Hill, Shepherd, West Virginia State and West Virginia Wesleyan. The move leaves Alderson-Broaddus, Bluefield, Davis & Elkins, Ohio Valley, Pitt-Johnstown and Wheeling Jesuit, without a home for the 2013 academic year.
The exiting schools are notifying the remaining members of what likely will be a dissolved WVC, one of the oldest conferences in the country, of their intentions by mail.
The WVC was formed in 1924 and it once included both WVU and Marshall. At least eight institutions are required to be considered a conference in the eyes of the NCAA, and that number is said to likely be jumping to 10 in the near future.
It would also mark the end of one of the longest standing basketball tournaments in the country. The WVC Tournament has run continuously since 1936.