Thursday, October 28, 2010

Progress Being Made Toward Intercollegiate Sports

UC Merced continues to make progress toward an intercollegiate athletics program, with a student interest survey beginning soon in advance of the campus’ application to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in January.

The campus remains on track to begin intercollegiate competition in at least two sports in Fall 2011, according to Director of Recreation and Athletics David Dunham.

The survey will begin going out by e-mail to students this weekend. Its questions are designed to gauge the students’ interest in having an intercollegiate athletics program on campus, their preferences as to which sports should be included, and their openness to the possibility of a student fee to finance the athletics program.

Dunham said the campus expects to submit its membership application to the NAIA in January, with a decision expected to come at the NAIA National Convention in April. Dunham said he’s confident that UC Merced’s application will be accepted.

If it is, the Golden Bobcats are expected to begin varsity competition in Fall 2011, with sports to be determined in part by the results of the survey. The timing is in line with the April 2009 recommendations from the Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, though with a slower pace in terms of how many sports are to be added each year, Dunham said.