Great Lakes Rugby Conference D2 Teams Join NCR

The Great Lakes Rugby Conference is pleased to announce their commitment to the National Collegiate Rugby’s new Open Division D2 Competition, beginning Fall 2020. The GLC was created in 2010, originally as a hybrid conference governing Men’s D2 and Men’s D3 competitions, as well as Women’s D2. At its inception, the conference governed 61 separate teams. The Men’s D2 eventually continued within the USAR structure while the other competitions migrated to the building NSCRO competitions in 2014. NSCRO was already providing playoff format support.

When asked about the GLC commitment to NCR, GLC Commissioner John Mullett commented “I wish USA Rugby well in their continuing effort to restructure and grow the game in this country. At this time, I believe it is in USAR’s best interest to focus on limited platforms, build in those limited and specific rugby areas, and then expand their support and growth of the game through their affiliation with proven successful models. This should not be an ‘us versus them’ situation in terms of governance. It is a matter of an appropriate structure that provides stability and predictability in competitions and playoff formats. I have interacted administratively with both organizations in the past and believe that the path for growth is a college focused governance by NCR while USAR tends to its restructuring obligations, the national teams and club competitions. The collegiate competitions are deserving of a governance entity that focuses entirely on the college game in its multiple formats and competition levels. That is what NCR was set up to do and has done it very well. With the addition of an Open Division it provides even great opportunities for balanced competitions.”

The GLC currently has 9 D2 men’s teams, but there is always the possibility of adding independent established teams and new clubs. Currently the Great Lakes Conference member clubs include:

  • Bethel University;
  • Calvin University;
  • Central Michigan University;
  • Eastern Michigan University;
  • Ferris State University;
  • Grand Valley State University;
  • Hope College;
  • Oakland University;
  • Saginaw Valley State University

Mullett explained “Calvin University, Hope College and Saginaw Valley have all built competitive, structured programs, but being smaller educational institutions, they tend to have a greater degree of vacillating strength in numbers. D2 playoff bids are very limited; additional post-season outlets give opportunities to more college teams. Playing in a hybrid schedule may provide these teams from smaller schools an additional opportunity, such as participation in NCR’s Challenge Cup. The possibility of post-season games provides incentive to build the team over the course of an entire season. Opportunities and incentives tend to equate with organic growth … and better rugby.”