Athletics

Northwestern administration completes NCAA Division II application

Decision to be rendered in July

ALVA, Okla. - After months of preparation and hard work, the Northwestern Oklahoma State University administration and department of athletics have completed and submitted its application to become a member of the NCAA Division II.

The 721-page document was received at the NCAA national office on May 30th, ahead of the June 1st deadline.

Between now and July, the NCAA Division II Membership Committee will review all applications and make a decision on which schools will be offered provisional membership into the historic association.

The application is the university's second attempt to gain membership after the first try was not accepted last July. Despite being denied last July, Northwestern Athletic Director Andy Carter believes the application is very strong and is optimistic about its acceptance.

"Since last July’s notification that we fell short in our quest to become a Division II member of the NCAA, our leadership has done everything possible to put the university in the best position for a successful outcome this year,” Carter said. “This is truly a team effort led by our President, Dr. Janet Cunningham. Her vision and unwavering desire has led the way. I am confident that we have done our due diligence and that the NCAA Membership Committee has received our best effort. Now, it is up to them to decide our fate.”

Upon acceptance, Northwestern will be placed on a three-year probationary period making the Rangers ineligible for NCAA postseason play and regular season conference championships.

Despite the probationary period, the Northwestern administration believes the move to Division II is in the best interest of the student-athletes, coaches and the university.

"This is the right move at the right time for our university. The NCAA brings with it a brand that is unparalleled in our athletic-rich society, “ Carter said. “Our student-athletes will benefit from this new relationship through the association’s increased awareness of student-welfare issues, increased academic standards, higher quality championships, strong levels of accountability through a rigid compliance structure and an affiliation with our other RUSO institutions.”

The hopeful leap into the NCAA is parlayed with a jump into the Great American Conference for the 2012-13 school year. The move will renew rivalries with other Oklahoma directional schools like Southeastern Oklahoma State, Southwestern Oklahoma State and East Central.

"Having the ability to compete with Southwestern Oklahoma State, Southeastern Oklahoma State, and East Central in every sport across all seasons will certainly add to the overall experience for our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans,” Carter added. “In addition, we will be renewing competition with several of the Arkansas institutions that make up the rest of the conference. To say we are excited is an understatement."

When the decision is passed down, the department of athletics will announce it to the public.