RAPID CITY, S.D. - The South Dakota
School of Mines & Technology received word from the National Collegiate
Athletic Association (NCAA) this morning that the university has been accepted
as a full member for Division II athletics.
The news marks the end of a
four-year transition from the National Association of Intercollegiate
Athletics (NAIA), which had been Mines' home for 50 years. The full membership
change will become effective Sept. 1. The School of Mines will join nearly 300
other Division II members. Full NCAA membership means Hardrocker
student-athletes will now be eligible for post-season competition and
post-season academic and athletic awards.
By gaining admission, the
university will be eligible for a variety of NCAA program enhancement
opportunities that will enable its athletics programs to prosper.
is a great day for the Hardrocker family," said School of Mines President
Heather Wilson. "The athletic brand of the NCAA is known worldwide, and with
Division II status we will be able to attract academically- and
athletically-qualified student-athletes to the university. I'd like to thank
Dick Kaiser, our athletics director, for guiding us through this transition.
This is Dick's fourth time taking a collegiate team from the NAIA to the NCAA
during his 41 years in intercollegiate athletics. He and his team in the
athletic department did a great job for the School of Mines."
295 student-athletes participated in 13 sports at the School of Mines. The
university employs 30 full- or part-time coaches and administrators.
School of Mines applied and was accepted into the NCAA Division II level in
2010. The Hardrockers started the membership transition process with nearly a
year of preparation followed by two candidacy years. The university used that
time to make changes within the department and staff by integrating the NCAA
philosophy and platform, as well as becoming compliant with all NCAA rules and
regulations. After three evaluations from an NCAA committee, the Hardrockers
were approved for a probationary member status during the 2012-13 school
During the 2012-13 provisional year, the Hardrockers were
recognized as NCAA Division II members to opponents during competition, but
all sports programs were not eligible to compete in post-season play.
During the past four years of the process, more than 2,300 pages of
documents have been written and prepared for submission, three on-campus visits
have occurred by the NCAA or their representatives, and six national NCAA
meetings have been attended by SDSM&T administrative leaders.