OVC approves changes in fees

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Schools wanting to join the Ohio Valley Conference will have to pay new entrance fees, while members wanting to leave face new exit fees.

The Ohio Valley Conference announced the changes Monday after wrapping up its annual spring meetings last Friday.

"The action items at the OVC Spring Meetings were made with progress in mind," OVC commissioner Beth DeBauche said in a statement. "From changes to the membership entrance and exit fees to the basketball enrichment plan and the football hosting pool, decisions were made with the vision of our league moving forward and continuing to strengthen."

This league has lost only one school over the past 13 years, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville joined in 2008 with Belmont moving from the Atlantic Sun Conference to the OVC last summer.

Joining the OVC now will cost a lump sum of $150,000 for a Division II university or $100,000 for a Division I school, a jump from only having to pay the admission expenses.

Leaving with two years' notice will cost $500,000 plus forfeiting year-end and basketball revenue distributions for two years. Previously, schools forfeited their share of the league's distributions. The fee for bolting with less than two years' notice had been $200,000, and now will cost $750,000 plus forfeiting distributed money.

The OVC board of presidents also extended DeBauche's contract through the 2016-17 academic year. She was named the league's seventh full-time commissioner in July 2009. The OVC also voted to have the conference office now manage the league's golf and tennis championships instead of being hosted by member schools on a rotating basis.