NCAA Approves Request for University of Northern Colorado Volleyball, Wrestling Programs to be Eligible for Postseason in 2006-07
GREELEY, Colo. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Membership Subcommittee has approved a request by the University of Northern Colorado Athletic Department for reclassification of UNC's women's volleyball and men's wrestling to Division I status. The effect is that student-athletes in the two sports will be eligible for the Division I championships during the 2006-07 academic year.
"We have been very confident that the volleyball and wrestling programs could compete in the NCAA Division I post-season in the very near future - this reclassification accelerates that opportunity," said Jay Hinrichs, UNC's director of athletics.
NCAA legislation allows a member school to have one male and one female sport, excluding football and men's and women's basketball, classified in a division other than that in which it currently is a member. The UNC Bears are in the third year of a five-year, NCAA-mandated transition process from Division II to Division I.
UNC head coaches Jack Maughan (wrestling) and Ron Alexander (volleyball) were both excited that their programs would have a chance to compete in the NCAA postseason earlier than they had planned.
"We had hoped for all programs to get the transition period shortened," Maughan said. "So wrestling feels fortunate to be able to compete in championships as soon as possible. This will help the program be more competitive in Division I sooner."
"The volleyball program feels extremely honored to be chosen for this exemption," Alexander said. "Every program at UNC has student-athletes and coaches that work very hard and are also battling the challenges associated with the transition to Division I, and any of them could have been chosen for the early eligibility. We will work very diligently to represent our department well given this opportunity."
South Dakota State University and North Dakota State University, both in their second year of reclassifying to NCAA Division I, also selected wrestling and volleyball.