SALT LAKE CITY — Westminster College President Brian Levin-Stankevich announced Monday that the school has applied for NCAA Division II membership.
The decision to switch affiliation comes after an invitation to join the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and a year-long review of the athletic department's opportunities.
Westminster, currently Utah's only member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, has begun a three-year process toward full membership of the NCAA. If its application is accepted, Westminster will continue to play in the Frontier Conference through the 2014-15 academic year and join the RMAC the following year.
"We have enjoyed our relationship with the NAIA and the Frontier Conference,” said Levin-Stankevich in a news release. “The Frontier Conference is an excellent conference, and we have been pleased during our time as a member. However, the Board of Trustees agrees that strategically, the NCAA and RMAC are better long-term fits for the goals and aspirations we have for the college and our athletic department.”
Westminster would join Dixie State as Utah's only Division II schools.
The RMAC currently has 14 teams from mostly Colorado, South Dakota, Nebraska and New Mexico. The University of Utah, BYU and Utah State were members of the conference in the 1920s and '30s. Southern Utah and Westminster were also members of the conference for a time in the '60s, '70s and '80s.
"While our membership in the NAIA and Frontier Conference has been positive, we believe eventual membership in the NCAA and RMAC aligns very well with both institutional and department goals we’ve set forth. Achieving such goals will make Westminster College an even more attractive choice for outstanding student-athletes,” said Shay Wyatt, director of athletics.
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