LOCK HAVEN - The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference could be adding two new members in the near future.
Those two schools are Seton Hill and Pittsburgh-Johnstown, according to conference commissioner Steve Murray.
"Right now, it falls into the presidents' hands," said Murray, as a vote could be taken today to set up formal discussions with both schools and explore the motion in greater detail.
Both were members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), which has had question marks in the past month.
A report in the MetroNews in West Virginia said that nine of the 15 schools were set to break away from the WVIAC and form a new league of their own. Including in that list was Seton Hill, Charleston, Concord, Fairmont State, Glenville State, Seton Hill, Shepherd, West Liberty, West Virginia State, and West Virginia Wesleyan.
Pitt-Johnstown, though, wasn't part of the new league, but it has talked about joining the PSAC in the past.
Football was always a sticking point as the Mountain Cats don't support that program. But with the decision by Mansfield to drop football, it would leave one school in each division without that sport.
Things have appeared to hit a standstill in the WVIAC and no further news has come to surface about the formation of a new league.
"With the recent developments in the WVIAC, Seton Hill is exploring all opportunities that may become available to best position our university and athletic department in the future," Seton Hill athletic director Chris Snyder said in a media statement.
According to Murray, the move makes sense as he's met with the schools to discuss athletic philosophies.
"Geographically, it's a great fit. Seton Hill brings great sports sponsorship, and pretty much has every sport that we have," said Murray. "UPJ has a history of playing many of the schools in our conference, and could be looking to expand in the future."
Mansfield eliminated its Division II football program in 2006 and opted to go with a sprint football team, which is based on weight limitations.
There are also rumblings that C.W. Post, currently in the East, would be leaving the conference to rejoin its former conference, the Northeast 10. Post started play in the PSAC during the 2008 season. Lock Haven and Post played twice since then - two pretty competitive games - with the Pioneers winning 30-28 in 2008 and 27-15 in 2009.
The last time expansion happened in the PSAC was the addition of two private institutions, Gannon and Mercyhurst. They are both in the West, along with Slippery Rock, Clarion, IUP, Edinboro, California and Lock Haven.
Should Seton Hill and UPJ get the acceptance from university presidents to join, it appears that LHU could be possibly shifted to the East for football. The LHU volleyball program already competes in the PSAC?East.
The move could happen as early as the 2013-2014 season should the presidents approve.
"I think it will create some flexibility, and some new travel-partner situations," said Murray, as he indicated such things as maybe three or four divisions in some sports.