Athletic Teams to Move Up to Div. II Status
- May 1, 2008
- MEDIA CONTACT: Barry Zepel, Media Relations Officer, (510) 885-3884, email@example.com
With a goal of upgrading the level and visibility of the competition for its intercollegiate athletic program, California State University, East Bay intends to move up to the more prominent Division II ranks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and eventually compete with 11 other public universities that are members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Cal State East Bay will apply to the NCAA for acceptance into its Division II roster of schools and then to the CCAA, which features 10 other California State University campuses, including San Francisco State, Sonoma State, Stanislaus State, Humboldt State and Chico State as well as CSUs in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Pomona, Monterey Bay, and Carson (Cal State Dominguez Hills). The conference, with headquarters in Walnut Creek, also has the University of California, San Diego as a member school.
Under NCAA rules, CSUEB could begin competition in the CCAA as a "scheduling partner" for the 2009-2010 athletic seasons, with "active status" and eligibility for conference championships starting in 2010-2011.
California State University Chancellor Charles Reed authorized Cal State East Bay to increase the instructional related activity fee for its students in order to fund the increased costs associated with competing in the NCAA Division II.
Currently CSUEB competes with dual membership in NCAA Division III and in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Pioneers' men's and women's basketball, cross country and golf teams compete in the California Pacific Conference for the right to participate in post-season playoffs through the NAIA. Other CSUEB men's and women's teams compete as NCAA Division III independents, with no league or conference affiliation. With the exception of Cal Maritime Academy-a California State University campus-the other member schools of the Cal Pac Conference are private institutions, including Dominican University, Holy Names University, Menlo College, Bethany University, Mills College, Simpson University, Pacific Union College and William Jessup University.
Discussion about a division move for the Cal State East Bay intercollegiate athletics program was initiated in 2007 by members of the 2006-2007 Associated Students board, who asked President Qayoumi to explore the concept.
He then invited former NCAA President Cedric Dempsey, a CSU consultant, to prepare a report on the feasibility of the university returning to Division II athletic competition. Pioneer athletic teams had competed at that level until the NCAA made athletic scholarships mandatory for Division II. Dempsey visited CSUEB's Hayward Campus in February 2007, meeting with student groups, members of the academic senate, athletic program personnel, and other faculty and staff in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He also conducted an open forum for all members of the campus community in the University Library.
Dempsey's final report recommended a move to NCAA Division II for Cal State East Bay as part of the university's "changing vision" of itself and to "increase campus pride and visibility."
After Dempsey's visit, a task force of students, staff and administrators began a consultative process that included 49 open forums and presentations to the university community. These meetings produced 850 signed student endorsements through 14 student organizations in support of a fee increase to allow CSUEB to move to Division II.
Chancellor Reed's action permits an increase in the CSUEB instructional related activities fee, currently $16, by $35 per quarter. That will be phased in over a three-year period. The fee would first be increased by $20 per quarter in the fall of 2008, by another $10 per quarter in fall 2009, and another $5 per quarter in fall 2010 (to a total of $51 by the fall of 2010).
"Moving to the Division II ranks of the NCAA presents an opportunity for us to compete in a conference-the California Collegiate Athletic Association-with other public universities in California," said Debby De Angelis, Cal State East Bay's director of athletics. "It will give us a chance to compete against our sister campuses in the CSU, such as San Francisco State and Sonoma State."
The California Collegiate Athletic Conference is pleased that the Pioneer athletic program has expressed interest in CCAA membership.
"The CCAA Presidents and Chancellors Group will be pleased to consider Cal State East Bay for membership after it applies," said Bob Hiegert, the conference commissioner. "We look forward to its possible membership after a review process to be conducted by the Presidents and Chancellors Group this summer."
Mario Castellanos, president of Cal State East Bay's Student-Athlete Advisory Council, said the move to Division II "will be great for our athletic program."
"I'm very happy to hear that the university is pursuing a move to Division II," said Castellanos, a junior who is a member of the Pioneers golf team. "I hope we can represent CSUEB well in competition against other CSUs. It will help us generate publicity for our teams when we challenge teams from schools that more people recognize. This is not to denigrate our competition in the Cal Pac Conference and in the NAIA, because I've really enjoyed competing against them.
"I hope that this move will bring a new resurgence of commitment and drive to help our school to have success and get better known in the CCAA," Castellanos added.