Trevecca's attempt to join NCAA will have to wait at least a year

Monday, July 12, 2010 at 7:29pm

Trevecca Nazarene University will not leave the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and join the NCAA. Not yet, at least.

The NCAA rejected Trevecca’s application for membership in Division II on Monday, but university president Dan Boone said the school’s desire to change its affiliation has not wavered.

Boone said Trevecca would reapply in 2011 once it satisfies all of the necessary criteria for consideration.

“We would love have gotten a ‘Yes’ … but we feel like once we meet the criteria at all of the levels the NCAA requires, we will get that answer,” Dr. Boone said. “We simply look at it as part of the process. … I think our application, overall, was looked upon quite favorably by the committee.”

The decision to pursue membership in the NCAA came following a comprehensive review of the school’s athletics program, which was conducted with significant input from former Vanderbilt and Kentucky basketball coach C.M. Newton.

The board of trustees gave the go-ahead to file the application in March, and the application was submitted in advance of a June 1 deadline.

Also in March, the university announced that it would add men’s and women’s cross country programs, which would bring to 11 the number of teams in the athletics department.

NCAA Division II membership requires at least 10 varsity teams. However, the NCAA informed Trevecca, that a school must have participated in the minimum sports before it is eligible to apply.

The TNU cross country teams will compete for the first time this fall. After that, the university will reapply, Boone said.

“It’s a pretty firm line they draw,” Boone said. “They don’t give you a lot of feedback, but there are five reasons they give for why they deny membership applications. That was the only one that had anything remotely to do with us.

“We had been led to believe that if the program was established, athletes were recruited and scholarships were given that would satisfy the requirement. Our cross country teams are fully funded and they will compete beginning in late August.

“After that, we will once again submit an application.”

Trevecca has competed in the NAIA for 40 years. In 1996, it was a founding member of the TranSouth Athletic Conference, which currently includes nine institutions.