Cumberland president Harvill Eaton said he believes in the merits of his school’s application for membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Eaton made the statement in a message to the campus community Monday.
The president received a phone call Friday saying the NCAA Division II Membership Committee had not recommended Cumberland or Georgetown College for approval to the Management Council, which will meet July 21-22.
Eaton is expecting a letter from the Management Council, whose decision can be appealed.
Cumberland and Georgetown are longtime members of the NAIA and the Mid-South Conference who are looking to move to the NCAA and the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, which has already approved the two schools’ membership in that league.
Another GMAC member, Trevecca Nazarene, just announced completion of its three-year transition from NAIA to the NCAA D-II.
Should Cumberland appeal and win an acceptance, the school’s athletic programs would undergo a three-year transition period, the first of which would be the final year in the NAIA. The next two years would find the Bulldogs ineligible for any NCAA postseason competition.
Here is Eaton’s letter:
Message from the President:
The NCAA Division II Membership Committee met last week to review those institutions seeking admittance to NCAA candidacy. The Committee makes its recommendations to the NCAA Division II Management Council which meets July 21-22.
Two institutions, Georgetown College and Cumberland University, received verbal notification that their applications for NCAA candidacy were not recommended for approval by the Membership Committee. We await the final decision from the Management Council, and we anticipate we will receive written notice of that decision in the near future. Finally, NCAA procedures give applicants the option to appeal a decision of the Management Council.
We believe in the merits of our application, and look forward to working with the NCAA throughout this process.
Certainly, we will keep you posted.