Monday, July 12, 2010

UIS named full-fledged NCAA Division II member

The University of Illinois Springfield is now eligible to compete in 2010-11 as a full member of the NCAA, the Great Lakes Valley Conference and is eligible for post-season competition.

On July 9, 2010, UIS director of athletics Rodger Jehlicka received a call from NCAA administrators. During the call, he was informed UIS had been officially named a full NCAA member. It was a phone call three years in the making.

“It is one of the three or four most significant moments in our history,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. “Division II is a whole new league.”

Following the announcement, Ringeisen celebrated with coaches, student athletes, faculty, staff and community members during an event at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

“We’re excited about the future, to say the least,” Jehllicka told the crowd.

The NCAA membership means all UIS student athletes will now sign national letters of intent, the university will be eligible for NCAA enhancement money and millions of dollars in postgraduate scholarships will be available to students.

“Now we’re like with the big boys and it just feels good to be an actual NCAA athlete,” said Ryan Williams, a sophomore student on the UIS baseball team.

The baseball program was one of many new sports added in the process of becoming a full NCAA member. UIS now offers 11 sports including men’s and women’s soccer, basketball, golf and tennis; men’s baseball; women’s softball; and women’s volleyball.

The NCAA membership will officially begin on August 1, 2010.

View photos from the announcement event and celebration

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