Pioneer Football League Commissioner Patty Viverito announced that Campbell University, located in Buies Creek, N.C., has accepted the league's invitation for membership.
Campbell, which announced its return to intercollegiate football in April 2006, will begin league play in 2008 as the league's ninth member. PFL teams will compete in a full round-robin schedule.
“All of us at Campbell University are extremely excited about membership in the Pioneer Football League,” said Campbell president Dr. Jerry Wallace. “Conference membership is such a vital step in the development of any football program. We are fortunate to be included with such a fine group of quality institutions who are competing at the same level of college football. The PFL is a great home for Campbell football and we know great rivalries will be developed as we begin competition with the 2008 season.”
“We are proud to welcome Campbell to the Pioneer Football League”, said commissioner Viverito. “PFL expansion is a positive step toward growing non-scholarship football, within the league and nationally.”
In June 2007 the PFL hosted a summit for institutions which sponsor, or have interest in sponsoring, Division I non-scholarship football programs. Since that time, the league has taken a leadership role to foster this brand of football, recognizing it is important to have those that sponsor non-scholarship football to keep it and those considering adding non-scholarship football to add it.
“Campbell is doing everything they need to do to be a top notch FCS program,” Valpo head coach Stacy Adams said. “They will be competitive in this league from the beginning.”
The Pioneer Football League, which recently completed its 15th season, is a non-scholarship NCAA Football Championship Sub-Division conference. 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 four new teams, three of which remain today – Davidson College, Jacksonville University and Morehead State University.
In January 1991 the NCAA passed legislation to require Division I institutions to sponsor all intercollegiate sports at the Division I level. Each of the league's members are dedicated to the enhancement and sound management of intercollegiate football as an integral part of the student-athletes’ collegiate experience. 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. All the league's members are committed to the non-scholarship football model.