Hardrocker accept as full members of NCAA Div. II
Release Date Tuesday, July 16, 2013

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.

"This 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."

Last year 295 student-athletes participated in 13 sports at the School of Mines. The university employs 30 full- or part-time coaches and administrators.

The 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 year.

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.

Contact: Brad Blume, 605-394-2355, bradley.blume@sdsmt.edu

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