Ohio Dominican University Accepted as NCAA Division II Members
Ohio Dominican University’s application for full membership into NCAA Division II is official. The NCAA notified Ohio Dominican officials via a conference call this afternoon.
The final approval closes a three-year transition process as the university officially moves from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to the NCAA. ODU’s membership becomes effective on September 1, 2011.
“Ohio Dominican embarked on an important journey three years ago with the support and determination of many faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends to achieve membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II,” said President Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D. “This marks another significant milestone for our university as it becomes increasingly distinctive in Central Ohio and throughout the region. Ohio Dominican is proud to officially be a member of this prestigious association and we look forward to providing the highest quality experience for our student-athletes.”
Ohio Dominican, the lone Division II school in Central Ohio, spent the first two years of the transition in a candidacy membership and the past year as a provisional member. ODU athletic teams played a full Division II schedule last season as members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), which it joined in July 2010, along with Lake Erie College.
“We are excited for the opportunity to compete as a full Division II member this year,” said Jeff Blair, acting athletic director. “We had tremendous support from our administration, our coaches and our student-athletes as we went through the entire process, and we couldn’t have reached this goal without their passion and energy.”
"The GLIAC is excited about ODU completing the NCAA process for membership,” added Dell Robinson, GLIAC commissioner. “ODU has been integral to the GLIAC expansion process and growth in the state of Ohio. The university and its athletics department have tremendous potential and will continue to serve as a great conference member.”
Ohio Dominican sponsors 18 varsity sports, including baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, and volleyball. Track and field was added as a varsity sport in November 2010, and those athletes will compete for the first time during the 2011-12 school year in both an indoor and outdoor season.
Over the past several years, ODU has greatly enhanced its athletic facilities as well. In 2009, as part of the construction of the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center, additional seating was installed in Alumni Hall, expanding capacity for basketball and volleyball contests to 3,000, and new athletic offices were also added. Additionally, lights were installed at Panther Field, allowing for night contests in football and soccer, and new fitness equipment was purchased for the Panther Training Facility.
There are 302 colleges and universities nationwide that compete at the Division II level, which emphasizes “Life in the Balance.” Division II athletics provides student-athletes with growth opportunities through academic achievement. They learn in high-level athletics competition and develop positive societal attitudes in service to the community. Division II student-athletes also graduate at a nine percent higher rate than the general student body.