Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Next stop: Division I

In an afternoon press conference, President Charles Kupchella announced that the University of North Dakota is moving all of its sports to Division I in the near future. Of course, both the men's and women's hockey teams have already been competing at the D-I level, but this will move all teams at UND to that higher classification. It will take money to make the move and it sounds like the money will come from alumni donations as well as a possible increase in student fees.

In my opinion, this should be a welcomed announcement. With our rich hockey tradition, we have had experience with D-I for quite some time and we were the "original" D-I university in the state. With NDSU's recent move to D-I as well as moves by other UND rivals, a move like this has seemed to me like an obvious one. There have been times when I have wondered if we should really be giving up our status in D-II by moving to D-I, but I have recently been fairly comfortable that this move is where our athletic future at UND lies. Ever since NDSU made the move, it has seemed certain that we would eventually be making a similar move. If we are going to make the move sometime, why not do it now? I don't like putting things off that could/should be done today.

Most coaches seem pretty happy with the move. I would be interested to see what you readers think about the move to D-I...sounds like a good choice for the next poll question, huh? I can see students (including yours truly) having some qualms about increasing student fees yet again. KVLY threw out the figure that a $100 dollar raise in student fees for each student would result in a total of $1 million dollars for the University. I hope that alumni are actively courted to make handsome donations before student fees are raised yet again. However, I know that, as a student, I would not grumble that much if my fees were increased moderately to pay for the move up.

I think that this will be a good thing for the University and for the community. Go Sioux!

10 comments:

NanoBison said...

I have a wonderful batch of crow for all of you who were bad-mouthing NDSU's move and saying DI isn't any better than DII. Welcome to irony...

Jeni.Ann said...

I don't see this as a good move for UND athletics. Yes, they will have more scholarship dollars and scholarship positions open for athletes, but they will have no real chance to compete at the D-I level aside from their revered hockey.

Also, as a student that does not attend these athletic events, I am really not impressed with the fact that I'll have to pay yet more fees on top of additional fees and tuition increases now. I don't attend the events, yet I'm required to pay for them?! No thank you! This university should make it optional for students to pay the athletic fee, and those that pay it can attend the events without paying at the door, and those that choose not to pay the fee will have to pay at the door as regular admission.

Therese Masters Jacobson said...

As an artist and art instructor, I support Jeni's comment about involvement in sports and athletics. The fees are a huge burden on those not involved in sports--and yes, there certainly are people in Grand Forks who do not participate in sports. I may be opening an old can of worms, but how often and how much money is given to science and arts programs--the programs that instill the inventiveness and creativity with which America was once the World's leader? (China and India are rising as we decline!) I am supportive of ending this battle with the NCAA, but for heaven's sake let's get some balance here and find priorities for our focus. Universities are not primarily about sports.

PartTime said...

The announcement of UND going division l came as no surprise to me, indications were kind of leaning that way. I think it's a good thing, I feel they are ready and have been for some time as I've stated in the past. As far as school size, with the exception of the U of MN, UND (13,034) is just as big or bigger than current regional division l schools......NDSU (12,026), Montana State (11,913), U of Montana (13,313), SDSU (10,566), U of Wyoming (13,130), U of Northern Iowa (12,927). As far as facilities for sports, UND has the Ralph for hockey (11,500) and also for bigger basketball games (13,000+). For football, we have the Alerus Center (13,500) would have liked to see it built to seat more, but oh well. Yes, I feel UND is definately ready for the move. I do agree however that financing and conference affiliation are real important, UND has allowed itself time though to work on these two important issues.

Jeni, your comment that UND will have no chance to compete at the Dl level with the exception of hockey isn't exactly true, they will be competing in football as well, the year UND one the national championship in Dll football, the U of Montana won it the same year in division lAA. UND would be a contender in Men's and Women's hockey as well as football. There are a lot of division l schools out there that only excel in maybe one sport period, North Carolina - basketball, Duke Univ - basketball, Notre Dame - football, etc. I think once UND clears the financing hurdle and the conference affiliation hurdle, they will do just fine and people will love their new status.

siouxrunner said...

UNC is also pretty good at women's soccer...see for yourself
http://tarheelblue.cstv.com/genrel/111501aaa.html

Brooks said...

dont forget swimming. kicked butt this year

Anonymous said...

Though the move is good for UND and the community, it is ultimately the final nail in the coffin of our logo. There is no doubt in my mind that moving to Division I will bring us more publicity, and that higher profile in the sports world will ultimately force the NCAA and the courts to put the kabosh on anything even remotely offensive. It's one thing to let us plug along in D-II with an offensive logo, but in D-I, that won't fly.

Anonymous said...

Bad move! Were going to get smoked!

NanoBison said...

All I can say, is you better have some finances worked out and conference affilliation lined up before next year. They were "key" to starting this process...

Prediction : UND goes back to DII after seeing Independent status for the next 10 years isn't viable.

Anonymous said...

I agree.