SNU Accepted into NCAA Division II Membership Process

Southern Nazarene University announced this afternoon that it has been accepted into the NCAA Division II membership process.

“For almost 50 years SNU has been playing intercollegiate athletics, and today represents a new direction in that journey,” said SNU President, Dr. Loren Gresham. “We are excited to have been notified of our acceptance into the membership process of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II. We now enter a phase of competition that hopefully will lead to full membership at the conclusion of the three-year process.”

SNU will immediately enter the first year of candidacy and will continue to compete in the NAIA for the 2011-12 athletic season. The second year of candidacy will run for the 2012-13 academic year and if SNU is voted on through to the second year by the NCAA, it will no longer compete as a member of the NAIA or the Sooner Athletic Conference. SNU will not be eligible to participate in postseason play in either the NAIA or the NCAA during the second year of candidacy. The NCAA committee reviews each school in the process annually to determine if the institution should repeat any year in the process. There is not a guarantee to move from one year to the next.

The third year is the provisional year and will run for the 2013-14 academic year. SNU will not be able to participate in postseason play until the school becomes an active Division II member, but SNU will eligible to play a full NCAA and GAC schedule. The provisional stage is set for evaluation if the institution is ready to become a full fledge member of NCAA Division II.

"The timing seems to be right, the Great American Conference invitation is a good fit and the support from our campus is strong for such a move. With fond appreciation for our NAIA affiliation over the past 40 plus years, we now look ahead to becoming a part of a new venture for our intercollegiate athletic programs. We plan to continue offering a balanced athletic program that complements SNU's delivery of quality higher education in a faith-developing, Christ-centered manner," commented Gresham.

Southern Nazarene will join other schools in the Great American Conference including; Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas Tech, East Central (Okla.), Harding (Ark.), Henderson State (Ark.), Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), Southeastern Oklahoma State, Southern Arkansas and Southwestern Oklahoma State.

“While we have a sense of relief that preparation for application is over and the first hurdle has been cleared, we know that this is just the first step in a long process,” said SNU’s Director of Athletics Bobby Martin. “Our administration staff and coaches are prepared for the various changes and welcome the challenges ahead. This is an exciting time for Crimson Storm athletics as we seek to raise the level of athletics and branding that accompanies this new journey.”

Founded in 1906, the NCAA is the governing body for more than 1,200 schools with more than 400,000 student-athletes. In 1973, the membership divided among three divisions. Currently there are 288 Division II members.

Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.