Lee, UVa-Wise Approved for NCAA DII Membership Process

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ATLANTA, Ga.Lee University and The University of Virginia’s College at Wise have been approved for Division II candidacy by the NCAA. Both institutions worked with Collegiate Consulting to conduct their feasibility study and assist with their strategic plan development. “There are certain defining moments that were huge in shaping the institution. This is one of those big moments. We have spent 40 years at one stage, athletically, and now we move to a different stage,” stated Lee University President Dr. Paul Conn.

“The entire UVa-Wise community is pleased that the NCAA Division II membership committee has accepted us into candidacy year one,” said UVa-Wise Athletic Director Danny Sterling. “This is a testament to the hard work and vision of many people all across campus and in the community, without whom none of this would be possible.  We want to thank Russell Wright and Heather Ould at Collegiate Consulting. Their help and guidance were an integral part of our successful application.”

During this past application cycle, Collegiate Consulting worked with six institutions to provide either divisional or feasibility studies with two programs choosing to proceed with submission of a Division II application.  “We are thrilled with Lee and UVa – Wise’s acceptance into Division II.  During our study both institutions demonstrated their institutional readiness for Division II,” stated Russell Wright, Managing Director of Collegiate Consulting.  “The institutions will be great additions to their respective conferences and build upon their strong foundation of success.”

The three-year process allows the institutions to implement NCAA Division II policies while continuing to be members of the NAIA, which includes eligibility for postseason play in the NAIA. During the process, the universities will file reports with the NCAA and will host NCAA officials on campus visits to review the progress.  At the completion of the process, the NCAA will make a ruling on whether or not the institution is granted full NCAA Division II membership.

Lee will participate in the Gulf South Conference beginning in the 2013-14 with UVa-Wise joining the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, both institutions will become eligible for postseason play in the 2015-16 season.  In the past three years, seven institutions that Collegiate Consulting has provided feasibility and strategic planning services have successfully applied to Division II in their first attempt.