Their is going to be a new men's varsity water polo program for the 2013 season, and that will be Monmouth College. Monmouth College is in Monmouth, Ill., and is about 200 miles southeast of Chicago.
Monmouth has been playing at the Division III CWPA club level, and just won the 2012 national club championship, and in the recap of the game there is a quote about moving up to the varsity level:
The game marks the conclusion of an era for Monmouth as it is the final collegiate club game in the history of Crab People water polo. Next season, the Red & Black will see their name change to the Fighting Scots, the official mascot of their home institution, as the Division III Collegiate Club Champion will leave the club ranks to join the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) varsity fold.
I was unable to find a press release from the school, or anywhere else, but the move looks to be happening next year. This is huge news since the trend is to cut programs, and for Monmouth to be a Midwest team is even better news.
There is a ton of talent in Chicago, so there could possibly be an influx of players who would rather stay closer to home, or those who may not be the elite players but still good enough to be a solid varsity player.
They likely will be joining the Western half of the CWPA Southern Division, that is where most of the varsity Division III programs reside. Regardless of what division they are in, this is a great move for men's water polo to be adding more varsity programs. With it being in the Midwest is just even better since there is talent in the area.
Water polo fans can only hope that this may lead to more teams in the Midwest area(or for my sake possibly in Texas), and give more talented players a place to play at the highest level.