Benedictine University student athletes will be ineligible for the postseason during the transition from Division III to Division II, according to the NCAA. If Benedictine were to be accepted by the Division II committee, the school would then enter a probationary period where they would not be eligible for NCAA postseason play.
“The University will abide by the rules governing the membership process which does not allow us, as the applicant university, to participate in NCAA championships for the duration of the probationary period,” said Benedictine Athletic Director Mark McHorney.
“Benedictine University’s application to the NCAA for Division II membership was submitted to the NCAA by its February 1st deadline. The NCAA Division II provisional membership process is a multiyear endeavor that is organized to best prepare BenU for a successful Division II athletic program,” said McHorney.
With the potential of the probationary period lasting multiple years, some athletes may not have another chance to compete for their goal, a national championship for Benedictine. This has led some students to consider leaving the university.
“This Division II transition has really not only put the University’s future for athletics in a tough spot, but it has also really put the athletes in one as well,” said a member of the men’s track team who wished to remain anonymous. “We have to decide whether or not it is worth transferring to other schools just to compete at the national level.”
“Many of the underclassmen athletes feel like they have betrayed because it is not in the best interest of the current student body,” said a member of the baseball team. “The lack of postseason really bothers us.”
Other athletes feel the change to Division II is important for the school.
“Being a part of an athletic program at Benedictine is about much more than winning a title. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make,” said softball player Alexandra Laphen.
The Student Senate will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, March 8th to discuss the topic of moving from Division III to Division II and what it means for the students. The meeting will take place in Krasa 050 at 9:15PM.