Northwestern advances in NCAA Division II membership process

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Northwestern advances in NCAA Division II membership process

NCAA Division II logoNorthwestern Oklahoma State University has moved one step closer to its goal of becoming a full, active member of NCAA Division II.

The NCAA Division II Membership Committee today announced that Northwestern has successfully completed candidacy year two and will be granted provisional membership beginning Aug. 1. The provisional year is the last of the three-step Division II membership process.

“We certainly welcome the news from the Membership Committee and look forward to beginning the provisional year and moving closer to active membership in 2015,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president. “I have been pleased with the progress that we’ve made and want to thank our athletic department staff, coaches and student-athletes for their work in moving us forward. Other administrative offices, such as financial aid and registry, also play very important roles in the process.”

In March, representatives of the NCAA Membership Committee traveled to Alva to conduct an on-site visit in order to measure the school’s progress and provide additional feedback. The NCAA also weighed information collected from Northwestern’s Annual Report. Positive feedback from both, coupled with Northwestern’s Division II rules compliance, helped green light the move to step-three.

Director of Athletics Andy Carter said today’s action is an important step in realizing the university’s vision for intercollegiate athletics.

“This is about more than just a label. We don’t just want to be an NCAA school. We want to field NCAA Championship level teams,” Carter said. “It’s exciting to see our programs making steady progress toward that end, each and every day. We’re excited that active membership is on the horizon, but we’re equally excited to watch the growth that will take place in our programs over the next 12 months and beyond.”

During the next year, Northwestern will continue as a provisional member of the Great American Conference. Each the of the school’s 11 varsity sports teams will once again compete against full conference schedules and are eligible for all honors and awards, including regular season conference championships.

“I'm excited to see Northwestern advance into the final year of the NCAA Division II membership process,” said GAC Commissioner Will Prewitt. “President Cunningham and Andy Carter have done a wonderful job guiding Northwestern through the first two years toward full D-II membership. They’ve been a good addition to the conference, and we look forward to getting through this final year of the process so we can see the Rangers compete in [postseason] conference championship events in 2015-16.”

The provisional year will focus on Northwestern’s compliance program and its policies and procedures for following NCAA rules.

Today’s decision by the Membership Committee will be reviewed by the NCAA Division II Management Council at its meetings, July 21-22. The Council does have the authority to alter any decisions made by the Membership Committee.