It appears conference realignment isn't just shaking up the Division I landscape anymore.The Sooner Athletic Conference has added four new members on Tuesday, bringing its membership total to 11 schools for 2013-14.
Northwood University, Texas Wesleyan University and Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Texas, and Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Okla., accepted the league's invitation and will begin competing next year.
Northwood, Texas Wesleyan and Southwestern Assemblies of God are all in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The four new schools join John Brown, Mid-America Christian, Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma City, St. Gregory's, Science & Arts of Oklahoma and Wayland Baptist.
"These are exciting times in the conference," SAC Commissioner John Hudson said in a press release. "Expansion into the Metroplex area is great for the Sooner Athletic Conference and brings Northwood, Texas Wesleyan and Southwestern Assemblies into the NAIA's premier league."
Southwestern Christian University, located in Bethany, Okla., offers men's and women's basketball, men's and women's track and cross country, softball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and volleyball and will compete in those sports in the SAC. Men's and women's bowling, canoe and kayak, as well as cheer are also offered at SCU.
Northwood, located in Cedar Hill, Texas, will be competing in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's track and cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, baseball and softball.
Texas Wesleyan, located in Fort Worth, plays baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country and track, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer and volleyball.
Southwestern Assemblies of God, located in Waxahachie, Texas, competes in men's and women's basketball, football, baseball, softball, men's and women's soccer, and volleyball.
The Sooner Athletic Conference has had a proud heritage in the NAIA. In men's basketball, a SAC team has played for the national championship 15 times and has been in the finals in 14 of the last 19 seasons with a total of nine NAIA championships. In women's basketball, SAC members have won the national title 10 times.
But what started as a basketball conference has become a dominant grouping of some of the best athletic programs in the NAIA in all sports.