NCAA Grants Florida Gulf Coast University Athletics Two-Year Waiver
FORT MYERS, FL - Today, the National Collegiate Athletic Association granted a two-year waiver to the four-year NCAA provisional membership period that Florida Gulf Coast University was required to serve before becoming a full member of the NCAA. FGCU began provisional membership in June 2002. The waiver allows FGCU to compete for NCAA II national championships beginning fall 2004.
The ruling to grant FGCU’s appeal came from the NCAA Division II Membership Committee during its three-day meeting in Indianapolis after it reviewed over 1,000 pages of documentation in support of the waiver. Uniqueness, compliance, staff experience and student-athlete welfare were the themes that supported the request.
“We are delighted with today’s decision by the NCAA Membership Committee to grant FGCU a two-year waiver of our provisional membership period,” President William C. Merwin said. “This is a tremendous endorsement by the NCAA that our young athletics program is already operating in a manner consistent with the NCAA’s mission and philosophy, and it is a triumph for our student-athletes who will be able to compete for national championships during the 2004-05 year.”
If FGCU completes requirements for a fourth year of provisional membership, it will gain full NCAA status in summer 2004 and be eligible for NCAA championships in the fall in men’s and women’s cross country and women’s volleyball, which FGCU is adding that semester. Men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball and softball will be eligible to compete in NCAA championships in spring 2005.
“We are thrilled with the NCAA Membership Committee’s decision,” director of Athletics Carl McAloose said. “I am pleased for our student-athletes, coaches, the FGCU community and all the fans of collegiate athletics in Southwest Florida. We have been fortunate to put together an outstanding staff and program that have brought in, and will continue to bring in, a quality group of student-athletes. I am confident we will be outstanding members of the NCAA.”
In the 2004-05, student-athletes will be eligible for academic and athletic awards, FGCU will gain NCAA voting privileges, staff and student-athletes will be eligible to serve on NCAA committees and FGCU will be eligible for NCAA funding opportunities.
FGCU planned to apply for NCAA II membership in spring 2000 but the NCAA placed a two-year moratorium on new memberships. It later denied an FGCU appeal. The NCAA lifted the moratorium in April 2002 and instated a one-year exploratory period and a four-year provisional membership period for schools seeking membership. The NCAA granted FGCU a waiver of the one-year exploratory period.
“Getting through this provisional period will be great for FGCU and the community,” basketball player and student-athlete advisory councilman Brett Fritz said. “I’m sure all of the student-athletes and coaches are excited to compete for a national championship in 2004-05.”
For more information, contact Sports Information Director Andy Platt (239) 590-7012 or firstname.lastname@example.org