William Jewell College will be classified as a provisional member of Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association effective September 1, 2011.
College officials were notified July 8 that Jewell has been approved for provisional membership status as the final phase of a three-year membership candidacy period. Upon successful completion of the provisional year in 2011-2012, the College is expected to begin full active membership in the NCAA Division II during 2012-2013.
William Jewell will begin regular season competition in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and be eligible for select GLVC championships during the 2011-12 academic year. Football will play an independent schedule in 2011 in anticipation of the inaugural season for GLVC football slated for 2012.
“William Jewell embraces the tradition of developing student-athletes who are engaged in the classroom as well as competitive on the playing field,” said President David Sallee. “William Jewell has always been synonymous with academic excellence. We believe that our alignment with the NCAA allows us to provide an association for our student-athletes that mirrors the high level of experience they enjoy in the classroom.”
Dr. Darlene Bailey, Director of Athletics and Chair of the Department of Physical Education at William Jewell, added: “This is a positive institutional benchmark that is shared by the entire college community. Our coaches, support staff and administrators, and the entire Jewell community have been working toward this goal for more than two years as a way of providing the best possible experience for our student-athletes. We believe the transition has already had a positive impact on recruiting top quality Division II student-athletes. Our coaches and student-athletes are excited about competing as an NCAA institution and look forward to taking on Great Lakes Valley Conference opponents in the upcoming year.”
The Indianapolis, Ind.-based Great Lakes Valley Conference was established in 1978 and is one of the largest NCAA Division II conferences in the country. The GLVC includes 17 members from Midwestern states. Other members of the GLVC are: Bellarmine University (Louisville, Ky.), Drury University (Springfield, Mo.), Kentucky Wesleyan College (Owensboro, Ky.), Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.), Maryville University (St. Louis), McKendree University (Lebanon, Ill.), Missouri University of Science & Technology (Rolla, Mo.), Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights, Ky.), Quincy University (Quincy, Ill.), Rockhurst University (Kansas City, Mo.), Saint Joseph’s College (Rensselaer, Ind.), University of Illinois at Springfield (Springfield, Ill.), University of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, Ind.), University of Missouri-St. Louis (St. Louis, Mo.), University of Southern Indiana (Evansville, Ind.) and University of Wisconsin-Parkside (Kenosha, Wis.).
William Jewell sponsors 20 sports, (men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, football and swimming.
The men’s and women’s swimming programs, reinstated in January 2011, will begin competition this fall. Jewell joins fellow GLVC schools Drury University, Indianapolis University, University of Missouri S&T (men only) and Lewis University as schools that currently sponsor swimming. Swimming first became a varsity sport at William Jewell in 1962 and competed until the 1990-91 school year.
For more information, go to www.ncaa.org (NCAA) and www.glvcsports.com (Great Lakes Valley Conference).