Aug 4, 2015
Aug. 4, 2015
NCAA approves Westminster's application to begin Division II transition
SALT LAKE CITY -
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced that Westminster College has been approved to begin the three-year Division II membership process. Westminster now begins the transition from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Frontier Conference to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).
Westminster applied for NCAA Division II membership after accepting an invitation to join the RMAC. The membership process begins on September 1, 2015, and will take a minimum of three years to complete. The NCAA Division II Membership Committee annually determines if an institution advances to the next year of the process. Following completion of the Provisional Year and final year of the process, the Griffins will attain full NCAA membership to become eligible to compete for NCAA II championships, as early as 2018-19.
"We are pleased to be approved for 'Candidacy Year One' in NCAA Division II and become part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference," said Steve Morgan, president of Westminster College. "NCAA Division II encourages excellence in its student-athletes and provides a supportive environment to move our athletic program forward in a student-focused manner. The Westminster community looks forward to participating in the RMAC and completing the transition to NCAA Division II active membership status. "
Westminster College was previously a member of the RMAC from 1967 to 1979. The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference is a premier NCAA Division II conference located in the states of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, and now Utah. The RMAC currently competes in 22 NCAA Division II sports and has earned 52 NCAA Division II national championships and 44 national runner-ups since 1992. Founded in 1909, the RMAC is the most historic athletic conference headquartered in the western United States and also in Division II.
The RMAC will serve as the primary athletic conference for the following men's and women's sports: basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, track and volleyball. Men's and Women's Skiing will continue to compete as members of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA).
"This approval is due to the efforts and support of many at the college," said Shay Wyatt, Westminster's director of athletics. "While we still have much work ahead of us, this is an important step towards active membership within NCAA Division II and the RMAC, which will further enhance the college and the experience for our student-athletes."
NCAA Division II is one of the three membership divisions at the National Collegiate Athletic Association, an organization comprising more than 1,200 institutions, conferences and affiliated organizations. Division II is a group of institutions and conferences that serve almost 90,000 student-athletes nationwide, including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The emphasis for the student-athlete experience in Division II is a comprehensive program of learning and development. The Division II approach provides growth opportunities through academic achievement, learning in high-level athletic competition and the development of societal attitudes in service to the community. The balance and integration of these different areas of learning provide Division II student-athletes with a path to graduation while cultivating a variety of skills and knowledge for life ahead. For additional information on Division II efforts, visit ncaa.org.