AMHERST, NY – (Daemen College Press Release) Administrators at Daemen College learned today that the College’s application for membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II has been granted by that organization’s membership committee. Notification was given by the NCAA in an email to Director of Athletics William Morris. The Wildcats will immediately begin the transition phase – a three-year process at minimum – to become compliant with all NCAA rules and regulations. In doing so, Daemen becomes the first college in the Buffalo area to become affiliated with NCAA Division II.
“We are very pleased that the NCAA has accepted our application for Division II membership,” Daemen College President Dr. Edwin Clausen said. “It represents a great opportunity for Daemen College. We are excited about the prospect of competition at a new level; one that will improve our already successful athletic program, strengthen our institutional image, and exemplify our core values. I would like to thank the entire Daemen community for all their hard work on the NCAA application; this truly was a team effort. We are grateful for the support we have received from the East Coast Conference Commissioner, Bob Dranoff, and all its’ member institutions.”
In 2012-13, the athletic department will enter in what’s known as Candidacy Year 1, followed by Candidacy Year 2 in 2013-14. The third year of the transition is known as a provisional year in which the Wildcats will drop their other national affiliations and will comply with additional NCAA requirements.
Supporting Daemen throughout the approval process has been the East Coast Conference (ECC), whose Council of Presidents will vote on extending the Wildcats an invitation to join their stable sometime this fall.
“On behalf of the East Coast Conference Council of Presidents and all of our member institutions, we are very excited to hear the wonderful news regarding Daemen College and their acceptance into the membership process for NCAA Division II,” said ECC Commissioner Dr. Robert Dranoff. “We believe, under the leadership of President Clausen, Director of Athletics Bill Morris and the administrators, staff members and coaches who have worked so hard on this process that Daemen will continue to develop into a successful Division II institution and an important member of the ECC. We look forward to working with them closely in the coming years.”
To ensure its’ teams the chance of competing in post-season play, Daemen will compete within the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) – formerly the National Small College Athletic Association (NSCAA) – for the next two years while complying with the rigors of Candidacy Year 1 and Candidacy Year 2 of the NCAA. The USCAA boasts more than 80 members nationwide and provides National Championships in 10 different sports. Daemen had previously competed in the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) since the mid-1980’s, but was forced to leave that organization at the culmination of the 2011-12 academic year due to the College’s pursuit of NCAA Division II membership.
“We are all extremely excited that the NCAA Membership Committee has approved our application to begin the NCAA Division II membership process,” Morris said. “I would like to thank Dr. Clausen, Dr. Richanne Mankey, and the entire Daemen community for their support with the application. This marks a new beginning for Daemen College Athletics; one that is exciting for the staff, coaches, student-athletes, and alumni. As we say goodbye to the NAIA we are looking forward to the new relationships that we will build with the NCAA and the ECC. The next few years will be that of transition and growth for the athletic department, a journey we are eager to begin.”
If all goes as planned, Daemen will become a full NCAA Division II member and fully join the ECC in the 2015-16 academic year. The ECC sponsors 13 sports and currently has nine members which includes the University of Bridgeport (CT), the University of the District of Columbia, Dowling College (NY), Long Island University-Post (NY), Mercy College (NY), Molloy College (NY), New York Institute of Technology, Queens College (NY) and St. Thomas Aquinas College (NY). Additionally, Roberts Wesleyan College (NY) who has competed against Daemen in the NAIA and the American Mideast Conference for years, is scheduled to fully join the ECC in 2014-15, upon completing their own NCAA candidacy process.
Daemen currently offers 14 intercollegiate athletic teams. These include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s golf and women’s volleyball.