Feb 10, 2014
Feb. 10, 2014
Board of Trustees approves application to NCAA per RMAC invitation
SALT LAKE CITY -
Westminster College President Dr. Brian Levin-Stankevich announced this week that Westminster has accepted an invitation to join the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
and has applied for NCAA Division II membership.
Westminster has been a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
(NAIA) since the 1950's. The decision to switch affiliation comes after a year-long review of options that were presented at that time, and is a result of a limited opportunity open to the college to join a conference that is expanding its membership.
"We have enjoyed our relationship with the NAIA and the Frontier Conference," said Dr. Levin-Stankevich. "The Frontier Conference is an excellent conference, and we have been pleased during our time as a member. However, the Board of Trustees agrees that strategically, the NCAA and RMAC are better long-term fits for the goals and aspirations we have for the college and our athletic department."
Westminster College presently has more than 240 student athletes competing on17 sport teams.
"Over the past several years we've assessed how best to ensure our athletic program reaches its full potential and further complements the academic quality and student experience our institution offers. While our membership in the NAIA and Frontier Conference has been positive, we believe eventual membership in the NCAA and RMAC aligns very well with both institutional and department goals we've set forth. Achieving such goals will make Westminster College an even more attractive choice for outstanding student-athletes," said Shay Wyatt, Director of Athletics.
As a result of the RMAC's invitation, Westminster submitted its NCAA application prior to the February 1 deadline, and has begun what it hopes to be a three-year process toward full membership in NCAA Division II. Westminster will continue to hold membership in the NAIA and the Frontier Conference through the 2014-2015 academic year, but will play a full schedule against RMAC opponents beginning in 2015-2016 if accepted into the NCAA Division II membership process in July 2014.
Founded in 1909, RMAC membership currently spans the states of Colorado, South Dakota, Nebraska and New Mexico. The RMAC competes in 21 NCAA Division II sports and has earned more than 30 NCAA Division II national championships and more than 20 national runner-ups since 1992.