The University of Sioux Falls' application for admittance into the NCAA Division II candidacy period has been accepted, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced on Friday. USF will begin the three-year transition process during the 2009-2010 athletic seasons.
USF will be a candidate member for the NCAA during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons, but remain an active member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC).
When candidacy moves to year three, USF will enter the 2011-12 academic year as an NCAA "provisional status" member. During this one-year provisional status period, USF will be ineligible to compete in post-season play in either the NCAA or NAIA and will also be required to operate under NCAA Division II regulations.
Following each season of the three year transition period, the NCAA will review USF's annual progress report and approve advancement in the transition period.
• Academyof Art University (San Francisco, California)
• CedarvilleUniversity (Cedarville, Ohio)
• MinotState University (Minot, North Dakota)
• NotreDame College (Cleveland, Ohio)
• SimonFraser University (Burnaby, British Columbia)
• Universityof Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
• WilliamJewell College (Liberty, Missouri)
Those schools were among 15 institutions that submitted application materials by the June 1 deadline. Simon Fraser is the first Canadian institution to apply for NCAA membership.
The eight institutions whose applications were not accepted are:
• CaliforniaState University, San Marcos (San Marcos, California)
• MaloneUniversity (Canton, Ohio)
• McKendreeUniversity (Lebanon, Illinois)
• MonroeCollege (New York, New York)
• Mount VernonNazarene University (Mount Vernon, Ohio)
• UrsulineCollege (Pepper Pike, Ohio)
• WalshUniversity (North Canton, Ohio)
• YoungHarris College (Young Harris, Georgia)
Committee members did not believe those institutions met all of the conditions cited in a set of "minimum expectations" the panel adopted this past year in sports sponsorship, compliance, personnel, strategic planning and financial aid, among others. Those standards were developed as part of the application to ensure that applicants are adequately prepared to enter the membership process and move through the candidacy and provisional periods more efficiently.
"The expectations are meant to provide greater clarity to institutions interested in applying for Division II membership," said Membership Committee Chair Glenn Stokes, the faculty athletics representative at Columbus State. "These benchmarks provide guidance as to what qualities the committee is looking for in an institution that wants to become a part of Division II."
Stokes said the guidelines also support the notion of Division II as "a membership destination."
"The membership-destination ‘slogan' is a purposeful effort to validate for our current members that they are where they belong as much as it is a billboard to attract new members," Stokes said. "It is meant to celebrate a collection of existing and prospective members who feel good about abiding by an agreed-upon set of behaviors. While we want to grow Division II membership, we want to do so strategically. If the minimum expectations appear stringent, it is because we want to build our membership based on the attributes we have worked so hard to identify through our strategic-positioning platform.
"That is not to say that the schools whose applications we did not accept at this meeting are not capable of meeting those standards. Some in fact are very close to being where we think they ought to be."
The committee in fact recommended clarifying the minimum expectations to assist future applicants.
Candidacy and provisional progression
The Membership Committee also reviewed progress from 11 other institutions currently in the membership process.
The committee agreed to move the following schools from the candidacy period to provisional status, effective September 1:
• Universityof Arkansas at Fort Smith (Fort Smith, Arkansas)
• Universityof Illinois at Springfield (Springfield, Illinois)
• KingCollege (Bristol, Tennessee)
• LincolnUniversity (Lincoln University, Pennsylvania)
• St. ThomasUniversity (Miami Gardens, Florida)
• UrbanaUniversity (Urbana, Ohio)
The committee also agreed to move the following institutions from year one of the candidacy period to year two, effective September 1:
• CaliforniaState University, East Bay (Hayward, California)
• DominicanUniversity of California (San Rafael, California)
• MaryvilleUniversity of St. Louis (St. Louis, Missouri)
• OhioDominican University (Columbus, Ohio)
One other institution, Lambuth University (Jackson, Tennessee), was asked to repeat year one of the candidacy period.