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Press Release for Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Reclassification Complete, NCAA Elected UNF to Division I Active Membership Status

Joanna Norris, Assistant Director, Department of Media Relations and Events, (904) 620-2102
Jeff Wuerth, Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations, (904) 620-4027

The University of North Florida just received official confirmation from the NCAA that the reclassification to Division I active membership is complete.

NCAA representative Steve Mallonee contacted UNF Director of Athletics Lee Moon on Tuesday, July 7, to inform him that the NCAA Administrative Cabinet had completed its review of all required materials and approved that UNF be recommended to the NCAA Leadership Council for Division I status.

As of July 7, the NCAA Leadership Council has elected UNF to Division I Active Membership Status effective beginning with the 2009–10 academic year.

“This is a defining moment in the growth and development of the UNF Athletics Program,” said UNF President John A. Delaney. “Competing at the highest level of college athletics is an enormous opportunity for UNF and provides challenging competition for our student-athletes.”

“It’s super exciting for the University of North Florida and exciting for our student-athletes. This closes the chapter on our provisional status. It’s the final step in the process of becoming Division I. It now moves everything into a different gear,” said Moon. “We are now playing for championships. We are now able to talk to recruits about participating in post-season play and competing for NCAA championships and that is the goal of every student-athlete. I am also very excited for our student-athletes who have gone through the process and not been able to play for championships. It gives them a new resolve and excitement. I would also like to thank Dr. Richard Gropper and everyone involved for all their hard work in making this reclassification a reality for UNF.”

The process for reclassification from Division II to Division I began in 2004. Upon approval by the UNF Board of Trustees, the UNF Athletics Department submitted to the NCAA an Application for Reclassification to Division I Membership on October 21, 2004.

That initiated a mandatory exploratory year (2004-05) during which UNF continued to participate as a Division II member eligible for post-season play in DII. During the 2004-05 season, the baseball and men’s tennis teams both finished their final seasons in DII as runners-up for their respective National Championships.

On June 23, 2005, UNF submitted a letter of confirmation of the University’s desire to pursue reclassification to NCAA Division I. This included the submission of the NCAA-required four-year strategic plan. The NCAA reviewed this material and informed UNF that effective August 1, 2005, the University had been approved to enter the reclassification process.

Each year of the four-year reclassification UNF was required to do the following and have them approved by the NCAA:
● Send five institutional/athletic representatives to the NCAA Convention
● Send the same five representatives to a NCAA Compliance Seminar
● Submit an annual report
● Submit an updated strategic plan

In addition, the following was also required the final three years:
● Year Two (2006-07 academic year): Have a full NCAA Compliance Review conducted by an outside agency
● Year Three (2007-08 academic year): Conduct and submit a complete NCAA Division I Self Study involving broad-based participation by the Institution and community
● Year Four (2008-09 academic year): Complete NCAA Athletic Certification including the Peer Review Team Visitation last October