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MEC to add Point Park (Pa.) to league as its 12th member

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The Mountain East Conference (MEC) Board of Directors has approved the addition of Point Park University to become the league’s 12th full-time member. Pending their acceptance into the NCAA Division II membership process, the Pioneers will officially become members of the MEC in July of 2024. PPU would participate in 15 of the MEC’s 23 sponsored sports with plans to add four additional MEC sports over the next two years.

“We are thrilled to extend an invitation of membership to Point Park University, to return the MEC to 12 full-time members in the 2024-25 season,” stated MEC Commissioner Reid Amos. “As we worked with our MEC Membership Committee this fall, Point Park University continued to emerge as an outstanding fit with an athletic department that we believe will be highly competitive in the MEC. The strategic vision for PPU’s academic and athletic future, led by President Chris Brussalis, gives us great confidence that Point Park is well positioned to successfully transition to NCAA Division II and to become a valued member of the Mountain East Conference.” 

“We are very pleased to begin our association with highly regarded Point Park University,” said Dr. Ronald Nowaczyk, President of Frostburg State University and the MEC Board of Directors. “While Point Park is well known for its fine arts education, it is a comprehensive university that we believe aligns well with the collective missions and visions of our current MEC member institutions. We are very pleased to expand our footprint to a fourth state and to gain a member in the Pittsburgh market.”

As the only downtown university in Pittsburgh, Point Park University enrolls just under 3,500 students. PPU’s nearly 100 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs are part of six colleges, including its Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Rowland School of Business, School of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Education, and the School of Education.

“We will, of course, pursue this incredible opportunity by taking the next step, which is to apply for membership into the NCAA,” said Dr. Chris W. Brussalis, President of Point Park. “The Mountain East is one of the most respected Division II conferences in the country and joining the NCAA would undoubtedly raise the profile of Point Park, attaching an additional layer of prominence to both our University and its athletic programs. We are pleased to provide the MEC a Pennsylvania member and to renew a number of old non-conference rivalries while significantly reducing missed class time and travel for our student-athletes.”

Point Park University has a storied history in collegiate athletics, including winning the last three Commissioner’s Cups in the River States Conference (NAIA). PPU won six conference championships in the RSC during the 2022-23 season and, most recently, claimed a NAIA National Championship in Men’s Marathon during the fall 2023 semester.

PPU will file its application with the NCAA by the February 1, 2024, deadline as part of its transition to the Mountain East. With successful acceptance to the Division II membership process this summer, PPU will begin to compete in MEC regular season competitions in the Fall of 2024 and will be immediately eligible for MEC Championships, provided it advances through the NCAA Division II membership process.

Per the current NCAA membership process, the Pioneers will be slated to become an active member in the fall of 2027. If all appropriate benchmarks are met during the transition process, PPU will become eligible to compete in NCAA Championships by the 2027-28 academic year.

About the MEC:
The Mountain East Conference features 11 NCAA Division II member colleges and universities located in three states. The league sponsors 23 NCAA championship sports. MEC teams have won six NCAA team national championships, have played in 13 NCAA Championship games, and won 42 regional championships. MEC student-athletes also excel in the classroom, with over 2,600 earning academic recognition in 2022-23. The league has also produced ten Elite 90 award winners, recognizing the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average who has reached the site of the finals for each of the NCAA’s 90 men’s and women’s championships across its three divisions. The Mountain East Conference is headquartered in Bridgeport, West Virginia. Visit mountaineast.org to learn more.

About Point Park University:
Point Park University, immersed in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, focuses on student success through innovative experiential learning opportunities. Point Park enrolls about 3,300 students in over 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs offered through its Conservatory of Performing Arts, Rowland School of Business, and schools of Arts and Sciences, Communication, and Education. The University’s alumni and students represent all 50 states and 34 countries around the world. Visit PointPark.edu to learn more.

About NCAA Division II:
The NCAA, the national governing body for college athletics, is a volunteer association of more than 1,000 colleges and universities that classify their athletics programs in one of three membership divisions. The 300+ institutions in NCAA Division II support a balanced approach in which student-athletes can earn scholarships based on their athletic ability, pursue their desired academic degree, and participate in all the campus and surrounding community have to offer. Division II student-athletes annually graduate at rates higher than their student body peers, and they have access to the best championships-participant ratio among the NCAA’s three divisions. Division II gives student-athletes the unique opportunity to compete in the classroom, on the field, in their career, for their causes, and on their terms. For additional information, visit NCAA.org.

(Courtesy of MEC)

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