Biola University achieved another milestone on its journey to gain full membership in NCAA Division II on Friday, July 13. Greg Vaughan, Vice President for Enrollment Management, received notification from the NCAA membership committee that Biola successfully completed the second provisional year of the NCAA Division II membership process and is approved to move into provisional year three.
“It was gratifying to receive the positive call from NCAA officials today,” said Vaughan. “Our team has worked very hard to ensure that Biola is not only moving efficiently through the membership process, but building toward becoming a model Division II institution. I am grateful for the effort so many have put forth to reach this milestone, and I have every confidence that in July of 2019, we will be approved for full membership NCAA.”
Under the leadership of Biola's Senior Director of Athletics Dr. Bethany Miller, the university completed all of the year two provisional reporting requirements over the course of the 2017-18 academic year, including a positive campus visit with the NCAA and a full compliance audit.
Provisional year two marked Biola's first athletic season competing in the PacWest Conference. It was a successful year by all measures, with the Eagles having one conference runner-up finish and four top-3 finishes. Also, eight of Biola's programs finished in the top-5 of the 14-team conference to advance to National Christian College Athletic Association postseason competition.
Biola Athletics sponsors 17 varsity intercollegiate athletic programs (eight men's, nine women's). Three of those sports (men's cross country, volleyball, women's soccer) earned NCCAA national championships during the 2017-18 year.
With approval to enter the 3rd Year Provisional Period in 2018-19, Biola University officially begins the final phase of the provisional membership process. As long as this third year is successful, the Eagles should find out they're full members and NCAA postseason eligible this time next year.
The transition to NCAA Division II provides Biola the opportunity to face former rivals Azusa Pacific, Concordia University Irvine, Fresno Pacific and Point Loma Nazarene University, once again.
The goal for the 2018-19 athletic season is the successful completion of all NCAA compliance and application requirements, and hopefully the institution's first-ever PacWest Conference championships.
The group of schools that were former Golden State Athletic Conference members have won 60 conference titles since 2011.
“We are delighted to receive word of our approval to move forward the final year of NCAA Division II Provisional Membership,” said Bethany Miller, senior director of athletics. “Our students, staff, faculty and administration have worked hard to get to this point, and to see the finish line is exciting. We've received a tremendous amount of support and have experienced increased collaboration from all across campus, which has been pivotal to our success.”
In addition to the exciting first year of PacWest competition, the NCAA transition process brought about other positive changes to the student-athlete experience at Biola throughout 2017-18. This includes facility upgrades at the gym, soccer complex, baseball and softball fields and tennis courts. It also includes the implementation of a priority registration system and greater attention to student-athlete well-being.
During the third provisional year Biola will be eligible to compete in some PacWest Conference postseason competition, but will be ineligible for NCAA Division II postseason play. The Eagles hold dual membership in the NCCAA and plan to send teams to compete in national postseason play through that organization.
“Our first year competing in the PacWest Conference was a tremendous experience,” said Miller. “This conference has some of the most competitive institutions in the West Region and is full of great people as well. They've accepted our staff and student-athletes from the very beginning and its made for a wonderful new era of Biola Athletics.”
The NCAA, the national governing body for college athletics, is a volunteer association of more than 1,000 colleges and universities that classify their athletics programs in one of three membership divisions. The more than 300 institutions in NCAA Division II support a balanced approach in which student-athletes have the opportunity to earn scholarships based on their athletic ability, pursue their desired academic degree, and participate in all the campus and surrounding community have to offer. Division II student-athletes annually graduate at rates higher than their student body peers, and they have access to the best championships-participant ratio among the NCAA's three divisions. Division II gives student-athletes the unique opportunity to compete in the classroom, on the field, in their career, for their causes, and on their terms. For additional information, visit NCAA.org.
Written by Neil Morgan, sports information director. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations, at (562) 777-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.