Brentwood, Tenn. - On Thursday the Ohio Valley Conference announced the plan for divisional play for men's and women's basketball beginning with the 2012-13 academic year.
The addition of Belmont University on July 1, 2012 will give the OVC 12 member institutions, the largest the Conference has been since it was formed in 1948 (the OVC is currently the nation's eighth-oldest Division I conference).
The sports of softball and volleyball will use schedules based on a divisional format but have yet to determine if those sports will formally recognize divisions. The sports of baseball, women's soccer and men's and women's tennis will not use divisional play because those sports currently have less than 12 participating teams.
The East Division will include Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.
The West Division will include Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Murray State, Southeast Missouri State, SIUE and UT Martin.
Some of the factors in determining the divisions included geography and balance while also being mindful of matchups and rivalries (both current and future).
Finalized 2012-13 men's and women's Conference basketball schedules will be released in the coming weeks.
The final piece of divisional play will be to determine tournament seeding and bracketing. The OVC Championships sub-committee is studying those issues now and the Directors of Athletics will make a decision soon.
Divisions for OVC Basketball in 2012-13
Belmont Austin Peay
Eastern Kentucky Eastern Illinois
Jacksonville State Murray State
Morehead State Southeast Missouri
Tennessee State SIUE
Tennessee Tech UT Martin