NCAA grants Dominican athletics "provisional" status

A year after becoming a member of the Pacific West Conference, the Dominican University of California Department of Athletics on July 9 received notification from the National Collegiate Athletic Association that it has been granted provisional status by the NCAA Division II Committee, a giant step for Dominican in becoming a full Division II program.

“We are very pleased and excited that the NCAA has recognized and rewarded our athletics program with this certification,” said Dominican President Joseph R. Fink. “The NCAA’s commitment to athletics, academics and their core values is in line with Dominican’s. It has been a team effort as so many individuals on campus assisted in this process. It also reflects the growth in this University and an integration of our athletics program and its values into the true mission of Dominican.”

The Penguins have successfully completed the exploratory phase of the process after applying for NCAA Div. II membership in 2008. Dominican now will be able to compete under the NCAA banner/logo and for NCAA postseason championships, effective September 1, 2010, beginning a “dress rehearsal”  for active membership.

The certification process, mandated in 1993, is carried out to ensure the integrity of an institution’s athletic department and to assist institutions in improving their athletic departments. Self studies are required in the areas of governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, gender equity and diversity and student-athlete well-being.

“The committee always looks at the totality of an institution. They’re really looking for progression and if the institution makes strides from year one to year two. I think the members were very impressed with the amount of growth that they saw at Dominican from year one to year two,” said Leslie Schumann, Assistant Director of Academic and Membership Affairs with the NCAA.

Dominican currently has 10 intercollegiate sports – men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, women’s volleyball, softball, women’s tennis and men’s lacrosse – and will add men’s and women’s cross country for the 2010-11 season.

An NCAA membership sub committee visited Dominican in April for an on-campus assessment. Dominican presented an annual report and the NCAA found that the University met its guidelines.

 “It’s allowing Dominican to compete on the highest stage of college athletics,” said Dominican Athletics Director Terry Tumey. “It’s an honor to be a part of a prestigious group of institutions. It’s a great day for Dominican.”