NCAA Grants Academy of Art University Division II Membership
For Academy Athletics, a summer of milestones continued July 12, as the Urban Knights received notice from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that the university has been granted full membership privileges. This final step in becoming an across-the-board active Division II program officially makes the Academy the NCAA’s first and only art school.
Beginning September 1 for the upcoming 2012–13 athletics season, the Urban Knights will be eligible for the first time to compete in NCAA-sanctioned Division II athletics post-season competition. The university also will begin participating in the National Letters of Intent program under the auspices of the NCAA.
The Academy of Art University successfully completed “exploratory” and “provisional” cycles of the certification process after applying for NCAA Division II membership in 2009.
“This wonderful news of our acceptance into active NCAA Division II membership is the culmination of the incredible vision of Dr. Williams and President Stephens,” Interim Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator Stephanie Strowbridge said. “Their tireless dedication to the development of a top-tier DII program has been our lighthouse, consistently guiding this fledgling program forward throughout the past few years. We are thrilled to now offer the full array of opportunities active NCAA Division II membership provides to our artist-athletes. This is truly a great day to be an Urban Knight."
“Academy of Art University has done an exceptional job throughout the membership process,” said NCAA Assistant Director of Membership Affairs Jess Rigler. “The Division II community is very excited to welcome them into the NCAA family.”
The certification process 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 Academy currently supports 16 intercollegiate sports — men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, women’s volleyball, baseball, softball, women’s tennis, as well as men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field. The Urban Knights are a member of the PacWest Conference.