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Aug. 2, 2007

Elmhurst, Ill. - ELMHURST, ILL. -- The University of North Dakota (UND) and the University of South Dakota (USD) have accepted an invitation to become members of the Great West Football Conference, Commissioner Ed Grom announced today via teleconference at a joint press conference held on the campuses in Vermillion, S.D., and Grand Forks, N.D. Both institutions will begin league competition in the 2008-09 academic year, and will be immediately eligible to compete for the conference championship. "Both North Dakota and South Dakota have had a great deal of success at the NCAA Division II level and we expect them to be very competitive at the Football Championship Subdivision level as a member of Great West Football Conference," Grom said. "We are extremely excited to include these outstanding institutions in our conference." UC Davis, Cal Poly and Southern Utah presidents voted unanimously in early July to extend an invitation for membership to both institutions, which formally accepted the invitation at the press conference today. "With the announced departure of North Dakota State and South Dakota State this past spring, adding North and South Dakota to the Great West is an important step in looking to the future," Grom said. "Not only do the schools fit geographically with the original footprint of the Great West, they bring a similar competitive level. The Great West was rated as the top FCS conference by the Gridiron Power Index and also by the Sagarin Ratings in 2006 and the league should be at the top in 2007. We anticipate, with the history and commitment of the University of North Dakota and the University of South Dakota, that the Great West will be at the top or near the top in 2008."

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