Southern Indiana University plans to switch to Division I track and field
Southern Indiana University to explore feasibility of upgrading to NCAA Division I in athletics, according to email from President Ronald Rochon to all students, faculty, staff, retirees and alumni from the ICU.
The school announced the plan on Monday. The Screaming Eagles are currently members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference and Division II of the NCAA.
âRegarding the future of our institution and the 2021-2025 strategic plan: Accelerate the impact, I am announcing an exploration of the feasibility of a move to the I play division,â Rochon said in the announcement. . “The feasibility review will take into account various elements, including tax and facility requirements and internal and external Community support.”
Following:Auburn exhibition, first road games highlight USI 2021-22 men’s basketball schedule
The USI will not take football into consideration. Rochon said this would require investments and facilities that are “out of reach at the moment”.
The move comes amid a larger conference realignment at the Division I level. The Ohio Valley Conference, in particular, could see four schools leave in the past year, with Austin Peay joining the ‘ASUN in the near future and many media anticipating a Belmont announcement this week.
âThis potential move is not to be taken lightly,â Rochon said. “There is a lot to consider. We will hire an outside consultant who specializes in these assessments, undergo a substantial financial needs review, and form an academic committee in the coming days.”
The information gathered will be provided to the USI Board of Directors for review at its November meeting.
Following:Here is the Evansville area high school football schedule, radio links for week 7
In order to apply to change its membership from Division II to Division I, the school must have been an active member of Division II for at least the past five years, must be in compliance with all minimum athletic sponsorship requirements and Division I financial aid and have received an offer of membership from an active Division I multi-sport conference.
According to the NCAA, applications to join Division I must be submitted to the Strategic Vision and Planning Committee by June 1, before the school year the school wishes to begin the first year of the four-year reclassification process.
An application fee is determined each year based on the estimated annual average value of direct benefits through distributions and championships made available to Division I members. Schools qualify for sponsorship-based cash distributions. athlete and scholarships after the third academic year as an active member of Division I.
The USI currently has 17 sports teams in total, eight men’s sports and nine women’s sports. The swim and dive program will not begin competition until the 2022-23 school year. USI recently revamped several of its sports facilities with the addition of the Screaming Eagles Arena, Screaming Eagles Complex and USI Aquatic Center, which is slated to officially open later this fall.
How does the sporting landscape of USI compare to that of other similarly sized public universities with D1 athletics in the region?
Murray State, a member of the OVC, has 15 sports in total, including two different from the USI – football and guns. The OVC member school, Eastern Illinois, has 18, the only differentiator being football.
Here is the list of schools in transition to full member status in Division I athletics: Bellarmine (a former GLVC member), North Alabama, California Baptist, Merrimack College, Dixie State, Tarleton State, California- San Diego and St. Thomas.
USI also worked closely with Evansville Sports Corp. on hosting several NCAA Division II championship events.
Other championships are to come. The Ford Center is slated to host the Division II men’s basketball national finals, commonly known as Elite Eight, until 2025. The city’s new Deaconess Aquatic Center will host the Division II Men’s and Women’s National Swimming and Diving Championships in 2026.
Angel Mounds has hosted NCAA cross country races.
âObviously they have great leadership and are a great partner for Evansville Sports Corp. and this community as a whole,â Sports Society Executive Director Eric Marvin said of USI. “As they explore a possible move to Division I, we are supporting them in this process.”
Exploring the USI “has no effect on the championships we have already achieved through 2026,” Marvin said. “If they decide to move to Division I, we would have a discussion about how that would impact things going forward.”
This story will be updated