NCAA PRESS RELEASE -
Saint Michael’s College Athletics
COLCHESTER, VT — The Saint Michael’s College announced on Friday morning that is has completed a thorough evaluation of its athletic department and has submitted a proposal to the SMC Board of Supervisors to reclassify from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division III.
College Provost William Wilson submitted the proposal late Tuesday as part of the College’s agenda items for the regularly scheduled SMC Board of Supervisors meeting that will occur on Apr. 4 in Colchester.
The submission concludes an extensive analysis and budget exercise that began in October.
“Like the academic units on our campus, the Saint Michael’s College Board of Supervisors asked that we evaluate our department,” said Saint Michael’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics Zaf Bludevich. “The end result of the analysis was that Division III was the best course of action for our college moving forward.”
The decision to reclassify came after several months of studying each classification of NCAA competition, where it fit within the college’s mission and how it would best benefit the institution moving forward.
Saint Michael’s consulted with the NCAA, Collegiate Consulting (formerly NACDA), as well as institutions and conferences at each level of NCAA competition.
Before a final determination was made, the College and athletic administration conducted an “educational phase” with several internal and external constituencies.
During the phase, the groups were educated on the differences between divisions from all angles – including sport sponsorship, gender equity, academic requirements, compliance, conference affiliation, facilities, budgets and departmental infrastructure.
Feedback was gathered during the educational stage with the Saint Michael’s Athletic Advisory Council signing off on the move last week. Student Government president Brittany Richardson also endorsed the move to Division III.
A move to Division III is a change of direction for the College, which is currently competing as an NCAA Division II member of the ECAC and NE-10.
In order to complete the reclassification, Saint Michael’s will need formal approval from the NCAA Division III Membership Committee in late April or early May. The College’s place on the committee’s agenda is dependent upon the SMC Board of Supervisors’ decision.
One of the primary factors in the switch to Division II from Division III was the ability to find a conference home.
“Among the hurdles we will face in our transition to NCAA Division III will be finding a conference home,” said Bludevich. “It is critical as an athletic department to be eligible for awards, compete for Championships and have a consistent schedule.”
Last edited by norm1909; 04-01-2012 at 08:16 PM.
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