Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Mercer University, Stetson University to Join Pioneer Football League in 2013
Mercer and Stetson will join the PFL in 2013.
Mercer and Stetson will join the PFL in 2013.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pioneer Football League Commissioner Patty Viverito announced that Mercer University and Stetson University have accepted the league's invitations for membership. Both institutions will begin play with the 2013 season, bringing the league’s membership to 12 teams at that time.

Mercer, located in Macon, Ga., announced the return of its football program in 2010. The Bears have not competed in football since 1941 but its history includes playing the first football game in Georgia against the University of Georgia in 1892. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia with NCAA Division I membership.

“A key component in the decision of our Board of Trustees to resume competition in intercollegiate football was the opportunity to affiliate with the Pioneer Football League,” said Mercer University President William D. Underwood. “Mercer has much in common with the current league members, most notably a commitment to providing a superior academic experience for student-athletes. We are pleased to be joining the Pioneer Football League, along with our sister institution Stetson University.”

Stetson, located in DeLand, Fla., will return to the football gridiron for the first time in 57 years after a 2011 decision to reinstate the program. The Hatters last competed in football during the 1956 season, however the program’s roots can be traced back to the first organized football game played in Florida.

“Stetson University is proud to join the prestigious Pioneer Football League as we re-introduce Hatter Football in 2013,” said Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby. “The other colleges and universities in the Pioneer League are similar to Stetson in academic excellence, values and enrollment and we believe we will be a good fit for the league, both on and off the field.”

With the addition of Mercer and Stetson, the Pioneer Football League expands is footprint in the Southeast where they will join current members Campbell, Davidson, Jacksonville and Morehead State. They also continue the PFL’s tradition of attracting institutions beginning a football program who are committed to the principles of the league’s model, which began with Jacksonville in 1998 and continued with Campbell’s addition in 2008.

“The Pioneer Football League has been committed to non-scholarship Division I football since the league’s inception and has actively sought like-minded institutions to join us,” said Viverito. “With Mercer and Stetson, we add two great institutions that share our football vision.”

The league, which began with four members upon its inception in 1991, will expand to 12 members in 2013. With the additional growth, the league foresees increased scheduling opportunities for its members which should further limit the impact of travel-related costs. To that end, league members recently agreed to implement an eight-game conference schedule beginning with the 2013 campaign, but have not determined the schedule’s structure at this time.

The Pioneer Football League is the nation’s only non-scholarship, football-only NCAA Football Championship Subdivision conference. The PFL is a truly national conference with members on each coast and throughout the nation’s heartland. The league still retains four of its charter members – Butler University, the University of Dayton, Drake University and Valparaiso University, plus the University of San Diego (joining in 1992) – which were joined in 2001 by Davidson College, Jacksonville University and Morehead State University. Campbell University joined the PFL in 2008, its first season of intercollegiate football. Marist College, which joined prior to the 2009 season, further extended the league’s footprint into the northeast.

In January 1991 the NCAA passed legislation to require Division I institutions to sponsor all intercollegiate sports at the Division I level. The five charter members (Evansville the fifth before dropping football in 1997), each dedicated to the enhancement and sound management of intercollegiate football as an integral part of the student-athletes’ collegiate experience, joined together to form the Pioneer Football League. From the league’s inception it has been a proponent of the creation of a non-scholarship football classification within Division I and adopted the moniker of Pioneer based on the intent to become the first league in that new division. The PFL’s original membership was comprised of NCAA Division I universities that previously sponsored intercollegiate football at other levels.

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana