Does Alfred State offer football in D-III?
I don't see why it shouldn't. I don't think that there'll be any additional costs involved, or at least they'll be minimal. The Pioneers will probably have to travel farther for road games than they are now in their largely juco-based schedule, but that'll probably be it as far as budget needs are concerned.
Which conference would be the best fit for Alfred? SUNYAC? Or the NEAC and be a football affiliate somewhere?
Alfred State would probably want to go SUNYAC, because it's a more established league and it's geographically more compact. But I'm not sure that the SUNYAC is looking to expand. The NEAC might be the best bet, although it's a league that currently has ten teams for most men's sports and twelve for most women's sports, which means that Alfred State would be causing an imbalance. Football is even more problematic, since neither the SUNYAC nor the NEAC offers the sport. And the two leagues that are the most logical home for the football Pioneers, the New England Football Conference and the NJAC, might not be good fits, again because of imbalance. The NEFC has two eight-team divisions already, and the NJAC is a ten-team league at the moment.
Berea has the endowment (huge endowment) to join the SAA. Are they a better fit in the SAA or the Heartland?
The SAA already has eight schools lined up, so the imbalance thing rears its ugly head again, although my impression is that Berea is academically up to par with the SAA schools. Berea would be the eleventh school in the Heartland, but I think that Transylvania might advocate adding Berea as a travel partner.
What are people's thoughts on the IIT and IWU?
It seems to me that the SLIAC is working to manage its ungainly new geographic footprint by having the two far-flung schools to east and west, Spalding and Iowa Wesleyan, respectively, play their contests against each other on the campuses of Webster and Fontbonne in St. Louis, near the halfway point between Spalding and IWC. I would imagine that if Iowa Wesleyan retains its football program, it'll attempt to follow the lead of the other SLIAC schools that carry football by applying for associate membership status in the UMAC for gridiron purposes.
Illinois Tech is a baffling case. It carries ten sports, five apiece on the men's side and the women's side, but it dropped what everyone who follows college athletics would consider to be the
core sport, basketball, three years ago. It dropped both the men's program and the women's program. It seems obvious that IIT will seek to re-establish those two programs, both to make itself attractive to a prospective conference and to get up to the new twelve-sport minimum for D3. It just seemed weird, though, that IIT dropped the two basketball programs in the first place ... since it was inevitable that it would have to either add them all over again sooner or later, or else drop sports altogether. Turns out that it was "sooner" rather than later.
(I wonder if the drastically different sorts of institutions with which IIT shares the CCAC's Division One is what prompted the school's administration to drop basketball.)
The NAthCon, home of IIT's nearest analogous school (MSOE), would seem to be the logical place for IIT to land if/when it enters D3.