Division I Scouting Committee Completes Division I Feasibility Study – The Shield
The Division I Scouting Committee last met on Friday morning and is currently in the process of completing its report which will be presented to the Board of Directors on January 13, 2022.
The Division I Exploratory Committee is made up of 25 members who are studying the feasibility of transitioning varsity athletics from NCAA Division II to Division I.
The committee will send a survey to the campus community on Monday. The survey will open with a Division I FAQ, ask one or two questions about how respondents perceive the feasibility of transitioning to DI, and end with a space for comments.
Jon Mark Hall and Nick LaRowe, co-chairs of the Division I Scouting Committee, spoke about the study at the SGA’s public forum on Thursday evening.
Jon Mark Hall, athletic director, said the college athletic department’s current budget is around $ 6.6 million. The budget should be around $ 12 million.
“The main way to fill this gap would be to raise funds – we had to go out and get donations – and then student fees, âHall said.
Hall said he was “talking about assumptions,” but if there were student fees, they would gradually increase.
Hall said his opinion is that varsity athletics could compete at the Division I level if the university provides additional resources.
âWe want to make sure that if we were to do that, we have a chance to be competitive,â Hall said.
Nick LaRowe, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Pre-Legal Coordinator, said the budget projection is set to fund the program at a competitive level.
âPresident Rochon has said it over and over again, ‘we don’t want to be someone else’s comeback game,â LaRowe said. “If you are a sports fan, did you get the reference correctly? ”
LaRowe said varsity athletics don’t want to be in Division I but just in Division I. They want to make sure that if they move up to Division I, they can compete at a competitive level.
The Division I Scouting Committee looked at universities that have moved to Division I and are comparable in size and academics to the university, LaRowe said. He said some of the schools the committee examined were the University of North Carolina at Asheville, the University of Southern Illinois at Edwardsville and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The 25-member committee was divided into two study categories: Division I Philosophy and Institutional Control. Some of the topics considered by the committee included the feasibility of the school spirit, educating staff on the NCAA rulebook, educating students about transfer, and academic support for athletes.
The different subjects will then be rated one, two or three by the committee. One being doable with little to no changes, two being doable with small changes and “if it’s more than that it’s a three,” said LaRowe.
LaRowe and Hall both said the committee was simply conducting a study and was not involved in the final decision-making.
The committee’s final report will be presented to the Board of Trustees and President Rochon on January 13, 2022. The Board of Trustees will make the final decision on the university’s transition to Division I.
LaRowe and Hall said they believe the board will vote in early 2022.
At the Faculty Senate meeting on Friday, Provost Mohammed Khayum said he didn’t think the board would vote on Jan. 13, 2022. He said he thought they would vote in early 2022.