Rumors have been circling all year about the possibility of Benedictine University moving from NCAA Division III to NCAA Division II. The university has now announced that they will begin taking the steps to transition to Division II athletics.
In an email The Candor received from University President Michael Brophy, the President wrote, “Reclassification brings university growth. This advancement is one of several strategies to distinguish the university as a first-choice, residential, Catholic, liberal arts school in the Midwest. It’s an advantage that Benedictine is able to grow its athletic program using its existing facilities and teams. The desired designation also opens the door to new student recruitment markets in Midwest metro areas.”
Both the students and faculty of the University have not been shy on their opinions of the potential transition. Previous to the University announcing their plans to transition to Division II, the University Planning Council met to make a recommendation to the university based on their opinion of the matter. The UPC is an advisory body featuring faculty, staff and administrators from across the campus. In their letter to President Brophy, they recommended that the school did not attempt the transition to Division II. In their letter it said, “A move at this time would be extremely risky and potentially detrimental to the well-being of the institution. The financial risks involved and the investment of dedicated resources to such a move are too significant at this time.”
Students have also spoken out on the matter. A Benedictine athlete, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “I really don’t see how this benefits the University at all. Benedictine is a student-athlete driven school and with the roster limitations of Division II, the school will lose student-athlete enrollment, which in turn will lose the school money.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Benedictine student Dan Caballero said, “I think Benedictine moving up to Division II will present a lot of great opportunities not to just athletes, but all students. Hopefully the move will strengthen school spirit, and allow the school to attract students who were not considering Benedictine University before.”
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