NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) notified President Dan Boone that it had approved Trevecca Nazarene University for full and active Division II membership. The notification means that the University has successfully completed its three-year transition to NCAA membership.
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Effective September 1, 2014, all of Trevecca's 15 intercollegiate teams will be eligible for post-season play because the University is an NCAA member for the first time.
Director of Athletics Mark Elliott and President Dan Boone received official notice of the University's approval from NCAA officials on Wednesday afternoon. Like all new members receiving word on Wednesday, Trevecca was asked to hold the announcement until Friday.
"The NCAA Division II brand platform of 'Life in the Balance' fits Trevecca's desire for its athletes," said Dan Boone, university president. "Within the NCAA D ll, they are able to enjoy the thrill of athletic competition while succeeding academically, socially, and spiritually. This balanced approach produces great men and women who will serve the world with the skill, compassion, and integrity that honors God. We are pleased to have 60 of our athletes recognized as scholar athletes by the G-MAC this season.
"Trevecca has become a conference leader immediately in the G-MAC, winning the coveted President's Cup in the first year and placing second in the current year. We are glad to be a DII school," concluded Boone.
At a Friday (7/11/14) press conference, held at the Hardy Alumni Center on the Trevecca campus, Trevecca announced the good news to alumni, athletes, coaches, and supporters.
Friday's announcement officially marks the end of a three-year process that began July 7, 2011, when the NCAA granted the institution candidacy status.
The very next day Trevecca announced the hiring of Mark Elliott as its athletic director.
One of the first tasks for Elliott was to find a conference home for the then 11 Trevecca intercollegiate athletic teams.
That goal was realized in short order on November 3, 2011, when Trevecca announced it would join the new Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC), the first new NCAA Division II conference in more than 20 years.
Elliott says a lot of planning and changes have gone into making this historic moment happen, which promises to bring a whole new level of attention to the University. He stated, "Whether you are an alum, athlete, supporter, or student your school is defined by how you play and whom you play. 'How' we play depends on us. With NCAA Division II membership, Trevecca has now increased its status by virtue of 'who' it plays regionally and nationally. Because everyone recognizes that blue-disk NCAA logo, Trevecca is starting to draw a broader population of student-athletes and coaches who recognize the University is going through this process. Achieving NCAA D2 membership is a victory for the entire Trevecca community, and today is a day that has special historical significance about what it means to be a Trevecca Trojan."
On July 12, 2012, Trevecca received word from the NCAA that it had successfully completed Candidacy Year One and could begin Candidacy Year Two.
In year one, Trevecca learned about the NCAA and what it meant to live like a NCAA Division lI institution. Year two required the University to practice being a D 2 school.
On July 12, 2013, the NCAA approved Trevecca for its Provisional Year of transition. During that year Trevecca functioned completely as an NCAA Division II member. The year included an on-site visit from the NCAA to investigate thoroughly Trevecca's ability to operate as a compliant member of D2.
As an active NCAA Division II member, Trevecca will now subscribe to the NCAA's National Letter of Intent, apply for enhancement funds for improvements within the athletic department, and earn the right to compete for national championships.
Though Trevecca has not been eligible for NCAA national championships, it has been eligible for G-MAC championships and has fared well in its first two seasons in the new league.
Tom Daeger, commissioner of the G-MAC, cheered the stamp of approval Trevecca received this week: "The G-MAC celebrates with Trevecca Nazarene as the institution moves into active NCAA status. I commend Dr. Boone, Mr. Harris, Mr. Elliott, the staff, faculty, students, and the entire Trevecca community on excelling through the reclassification process. The NCAA has added an institution that has established a first-class framework within the NCAA model and embraced the Division II commitment to a balanced student-athlete experience."
"Trevecca has proven to be an engaged leader among G-MAC members and has assisted the Conference grow from its initial formation two years ago. As a charter member of the league, Trevecca's leadership has guided the G-MAC to new heights in a short period of time. I am confident the institution will be a strong, committed and competitive Division II institution as it embarks on its next chapter in athletics," Daeger concluded.
In 2012-2013, the first year of the conference, Trevecca won nine G-MAC Championships and the inaugural G-MAC Presidents Cup. The Presidents Cup is given to the most successful athletic department in the G-MAC each year.
Trevecca claimed the regular season title in women's soccer, women's basketball, baseball and softball; then it won the post-season tournaments in women's soccer, women's golf, softball, baseball, and men's golf.
Year two saw the Trojans keep pace again with seven championships and a runner-up finish in the Presidents Cup race.
The nine-member (member schools) conference fields championships in 17 sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, softball, volleyball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's indoor track, and men's and women's outdoor track.
Cumberland University (Lebanon, Tenn.) and Georgetown (Ky.) College are provisional members who have applied to start the three-year transition. Those schools will learn by Monday if their applications have been accepted. Both schools will become part of the desired southern division of the G-MAC with current members Kentucky Wesleyan College and Trevecca.
During its transition, Trevecca has made significant changes to meet NCAA membership requirements. First, Trevecca added men's and women's cross country teams, increasing its number of intercollegiate athletic teams to 11. In doing so, the University surpassed the 10-sport minimum for NCAA Division II membership.
Men's and women's indoor and outdoor track teams were added for the 2013-2014 athletic season, raising the intercollegiate athletic teams to 15.
Trevecca hired a full-time NCAA compliance officer, Larry Knight, early in the process. Knight has guided the staff, administration, coaches, supporters, and athletes through the NCAA rulebook. All of Trevecca's coaches and assistants have passed the NCAA compliance rules exam prior to beginning the recruiting process each season.
Trevecca volleyball coach Jayme Crowley was named the senior woman administrator. In addition to other contributions, Coach Crowley has led the development of Trevecca's Student-Athlete Advisor Committee (SAAC), a significant piece in the NCAA Division II membership model. The SAAC is comprised of one student-athlete from each of Trevecca's athletic teams.
Trevecca produced a compliance handbook, revised its student-athlete handbook to meet NCAA regulations, produced an annual report each year, and created a gender equity committee.
The athletic facilities have been enhanced each year. Trojan Fieldhouse received new seating and a new playing surface. Each on-campus facility received a new wireless scoreboard in the summer of 2013. The baseball program added lights to Jackson Field, a picnic pavilion for fans, and an indoor practice building. This summer the softball field is getting a new hitting area, bullpen, and other improvements to its dugout area. The golf programs now have an on-campus practice facility near the baseball outfield. The soccer complex recently added new fencing, a picnic pavilion, and team dugouts. The three outdoor facilities share a new restroom facility located at the entrance to the soccer facility.
The physical space and equipment of Trevecca's sports medicine department have grown during the transition. Its area for treating athletes has doubled, and the entire training area has been remodeled.
In 1997-1998 Trevecca fielded only five intercollegiate teams, compared to 15 teams today.
Trevecca athletes have continued their tradition of academic excellence in the classroom. In the 2013-2014 school year, 60 student-athletes were named to the G-MAC academic squad.