OVC adds Little Rock as conference member

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Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

The OVC officially announced the addition of Little Rock to the conference Thursday, a move which will take place on July 1, 2022. 

That is the same date that Austin Peay and Belmont will be leaving the conference. 

The Little Rock Trojans will become the OVC’s 22nd full-time member in the conference’s history.

They will join remaining members Eastern, Morehead State, Murray State, Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and Tennessee-Martin. 

OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche said in a statement that the conference is glad to have Little Rock as a member. 

“The OVC is delighted to add Little Rock to its membership, given its history of competitive success and its commitment to student-athletes,” DeBauche said. “As we discussed the process of membership, there was an immediate acknowledgment that the values of our conference and their institution align. Our intention is to create a long-lasting partnership that will enhance the student-athlete experience and strengthen the competitive success of the entire OVC.”

Little Rock sponsors 13 of the OVC’s 19 championship sports, according to the announcement.

The addition of Little Rock does not remedy the OVC’s shortage of football programs, as it is one of the sports they do not have. 

As it currently stands, the OVC will be down to six football programs for the 2022 season with the departure of Austin Peay, the minimum number of programs required for an automatic berth to the FCS playoffs. 

Jacksonville State and Eastern Kentucky also left the OVC in July 2021. 

 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]