PNW Pioneer

PNW prepares for NCAA process

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PNW athletics will begin competing in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a NCAA DII conference, for the 2017-18 athletic season.

PNW was accepted into the NCAA DII membership process on Sept. 27 due to the overturning of an appeal that was filed against an earlier decision by the NCAA to reject PNW from admittance.

PNW’s membership in the GLIAC is contingent upon their continual advancement through the three-year NCAA DII membership process. PNW will be ineligible for NCAA postseason play until full membership is acquired in 2019-20.

Committee members of the NCAA DII visited PNW and met with the newly formed intercollegiate athletic committee on Feb. 16.

Rick Costello, athletic director, said the meeting between the NCAA and IAC focused on the provisional year-one process and the institution of NCAA policies, such as institutional oversight, sports sponsorship and student-athlete welfare, at PNW.

“The NCAA team was quite excited about the progress we have made and the specific policies and procedures already instituted and in play,” Costello said.

Geoff Schultz, vice chair of faculty senate, said that PNW is working to reach the NCAA standards and believes that the move to the NCAA will be beneficial for PNW.

“There is oversight that we have to undergo for eligibility and recruitment that wasn’t necessarily in place under NAIA,” Schultz said.

Schultz said he was initially worried about whether the faculty would accept PNW moving into the NCAA and whether faculty would have any legitimate insight as to what was going on with athletics.

“I’m thinking, given what I have seen in the three meetings we’ve been in, that we are going to have a voice,” Schultz said. “To me that was really important.”

The IAC currently has seven faculty members on it, including three faculty senate members. Schultz said the application process is going to be ongoing as the NCAA reviews the documents created by the IAC.

“Over a two-year period as we evolve into what they want us to become then the final approval is given,” Schultz said.

Schultz said the intercollegiate athletic committee plans on completing the first draft of the NCAA application by May 15.

“We are trying to meet and get a finished draft of the application that’s being submitted for approval,” Schultz said. “If that does okay, and I think it will, then in two years we will be officially admitted.”

Costello said transitioning to the GLIAC will bring about changes for athletes, such as competing mainly on the weekends.

“As part of the GLIAC scheduling philosophy, the majority of athletic competitions will shift to the weekends and thus, reduce missed class time,” Costello said.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, which PNW is currently a member of, schedules both weekend and weekday competitions.

Costello said the budget for travel within the athletic budget will increase 5 percent. The increase in budget brings the total 2017-18 projected budget for intercollegiate athletics to $2,664,168.

Costello said that they have received GLIAC schedules for the 2017-18 athletic year and that they will be released following the end of the 2016-17 athletic season.


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