Northern Kentucky, previously a member of the Atlantic Sun conference, officially accepted a bid to join the Horizon League on Monday. The school is trying to commit to full-time Division I status and this is a step in the right direction.
The Norse will join the Horizon League next season and will be eligible for post-season play in the 2016-17 season.
Northern Kentucky released a statement confirming their move to the Horizon on their athletic website:
“This is an exciting day for Northern Kentucky University,” said President Mearns. “I am proud to announce that we will become a member of the Horizon League beginning with the 2015-16 season.
“We made the move to Division I in order to align with similar aspirational institutions. The Horizon League member schools are located in areas that are ideal for student recruitment., In fact, seven of the nine schools are located within 300 miles of NKU’s main campus. The future of Norse athletics is bright, and the Horizon League is an excellent fit,” he said.
The Norse are coming off a season in which they went 13-17 (7-7 in the Atlantic Sun) and finished in fifth place, while also firing their coach Dave Bezold. Northern Kentucky will become the tenth member of the Horizon League as they join Valparaiso, Green Bay, Cleveland State, Oakland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Illinois-Chicago, Wright State and Youngstown State.
Last year, Valparaiso was the Horizon’s NCAA Tournament representative. Valparaiso would lose a close game to Maryland in the Round of 32.