Biola takes momentous step towards DII
Biola Athletics submitted paperwork on Jan. 27 asking for acceptance into the NCAA Division II Pac West Division. | Photo courtesy of Neil Morgan
On Jan. 27, the Biola Athletic Department clicked “submit” on a roughly 600-page online application to be admitted into the NCAA Division II. This portion of the application is about 80 percent of the application process, according to Bethany Miller, director of athletics. This will be reviewed by the NCAA Membership Committee to make sure our university passes the basic requirements of the NCAA.
If Biola passes through this initial screening process, a procedure the Athletic Department is confident will happen, a NCAA vendor will be sent to campus. The vendor will spend several days meeting with everyone from president Berry Corey down to student athletes. They will also conduct a general overview of the Athletic Department, write a report and list the issues Biola needs to address.
A MODEL INSTITUTION
The initial application submitted on Jan. 27 totalled 80 percent of the the overall NCAA membership application. The other 20 percent is a supplemental application due June 1. Here the university will need to address the things reported by the vendor. In July, the Management Council will meet to either grant or deny a three-year provisional membership in the NCAA, giving Biola dual affiliation in the transition.
“They evaluate each class on its own merit,” Miller said. “We don’t know that there’s a large class that’s coming into the application process on the same year as us so that’s helpful. We need to be a model NCAA II institution so they don’t compare us to current active members, they compare us to what they want a model institution to look like which makes the standards really high.”
This is a long process that forces many aspects of the university to compare itself to national standards. Miller compares it to becoming accredited in that, though taxing, it encourages healthy growth.
“We know it will present its challenges like it does for every institution that goes through it because it’s a grueling process and there’s so many pieces to it,” Miller said. “But really it’s going to make us not just a better athletics department but really a better institution. That’s what the president at Azusa Pacific has told us and our president is that really, it causes us to look at policies that don’t only affect student athletes but they affect general students at Biola.”
THE NEXT STEP
The next step is to wait to hear results from the NCAA Membership Committee, which should come around mid-March. Until that point the Athletics Department and Biola University plan to continue as if they will be accepted into the NCAA while still focusing on competing hard in the NAIA.