DELHI, NY (02/13/2018) (readMedia)-- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced last Thursday the approval of SUNY Delhi as a Division III provisional member for the 2018-19 season.
The action follows successful completion of an NCAA exploratory membership year for the Broncos. SUNY Delhi's athletics program, which includes 19 intercollegiate teams, also accepted an invitation earlier this year to join the newly-formed American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACCA), a Division III conference.
"This is a historic milestone for SUNY Delhi and our athletics program," said SUNY Delhi President Michael R. Laliberte. "We pursued NCAA membership because SUNY Delhi and Division III share a commitment to providing students with outstanding opportunities to excel in the classroom and on the field."
SUNY Delhi's provisional membership will allow its athletic teams to compete as NCAA members beginning this fall. They will also enter a four-year process to meet NCAA educational and operational benchmarks before becoming full-time members. The Broncos can become fully recognized as a NCAA Division III member as early as 2021-22. As provisional members, SUNY Delhi's teams will not be allowed to compete in any NCAA-sanctioned championship events. SUNY Delhi intends to remain in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) during this period to give its athletes an opportunity to compete for national championships.
"This is a tremendous and historic new chapter for SUNY Delhi and our athletics program," said Athletic Director Bob Backus. "Being affiliated with NCAA Division III will provide outstanding opportunities for many decades to come for our student-athletes and our athletics programs. This is truly a great day to be a Bronco!"
The Broncos, longtime members of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), first made the move to four-year athletics for the 2015-16 season, and that transition has been highly successful. The men's cross country team won their second straight USCAA National Championship in November, while men's golf captured their first USCAA national crown in October.
"It's super exciting transitioning into NCAA," said Molly Greene, a softball sophomore and president of the Student Athletic Association (SAAC). "This is my second season as a student-athlete and there's already been so many great improvements to the athletics program. This change isn't only great for all the athletes but for everyone that is part of the Delhi community."
"We have improved, we have been patient and we have earned the title," added men's soccer Alhasane Sako, a men's soccer sophomore and SAAC vice president. "It is an honor to be part of a big change. It is definitely a great opportunity for us as student-athletes to take our talents to the next level and continue to achieve great things."
SUNY Delhi is the latest SUNY College of Technology to make the jump to NCAA Division III. Others include Alfred State, SUNY Canton, SUNY Cobleskill and Morrisville State. Alfred State and Canton currently compete with Delhi in the ACAA.
"I'm thrilled to experience SUNY Delhi officially entering a new chapter in colligate athletics," said track and field sophomore Ashley Magnifico. "The transition into NCAA Division III will give student-athletes like myself new competition and exciting opportunities. The future is bright for SUNY Delhi student-athletes!"
NCAA Division III is the largest NCAA division both in number of participants and number of schools. More than 180,000 student-athletes at 450 institutions make up Division III. More information on the NCAA Division III transition process can be found on the NCAA website.