Arkansas Little Rock to join OVC in 2022-23

Little Rock, which sponsors 13 of the OVC’s 19 championship sports, and will become official...
Little Rock, which sponsors 13 of the OVC’s 19 championship sports, and will become official members on July 1, 2022.(University Arkansas Little Rock)
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 3:40 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (KFVS) - The University of Arkansas Little Rock has accepted an invitation to join the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).

Little Rock will officially become a member on July 1, 2022.

They will join Eastern Illinois University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Little Rock is the 22nd full-time member in the 74 years the OVC has been around.

“The OVC is delighted to add Little Rock to its membership, given its history of competitive success and its commitment to student-athletes,” said OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche. “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.”

Since becoming a Division I school, Little Rock has had 40 NCAA postseason appearances and 50 conference championships, including 21 for men’s and women’s basketball.

In the last seven seasons alone, Little Rock sports teams have combined to make nine NCAA postseason appearances, most recently being represented by men’s golf and wrestling in 2021.

Additionally, Little Rock’s athletic programs have excelled in the classroom with the department boasting a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.31 through the spring 2021 semester.

The Trojans have had 11 Academic All-Americans since 2000 with six Trojan athletic programs receiving academic recognition by its respective governing organizations in 2020-21.

“In accepting the Ohio Valley Conference invitation, we begin a new and exciting chapter for UA Little Rock and Trojan Athletics that better aligns our sports portfolio with available conference resources and reaffirms our commitment to athletic and academic excellence,” said UA Little Rock Chancellor Dr. Christy Drale.

During the 2020-21 academic year, a record 1,718 student-athletes were named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll for achieving a 3.25 GPA or higher, while a record 356 earned the OVC Academic Medal of Honor for compiling a perfect 4.0 GPA.

“The addition of Little Rock is a major step in our membership development and the Trojans will play an important part in our growth and evolution,” DeBauche added. “They bring value in a variety of ways, including competitive success and shared vision. As we look to future membership growth, our strategy is to look for institutions that bring value to all our sports, and that includes the sport of football.”

Copyright 2021 KFVS. All rights reserved.