Division 1 Certification... It's Official!
Recently Updated Plates of Rohn Brown
Longwood University President Dr. Patricia Cormier received a letter from The NCAA dated July 11, 2007 stating that the organization’s Division I Management Council Administrative Committee, acting on behalf of the Division I Management Council, had approved the recommendation from the Division I Management Council Membership Subcommittee to transfer Longwood to Division I active membership as of September 1, 2007.
The Lancers, along with the University of California – Davis and the University of Northern Colorado, competed during 2007-08 as the newest members of NCAA Division I.
Dr. Cormier had informed the NCAA in a letter dated November 12, 2002 of Longwood's intention to reclassify
its intercollegiate athletic program to Division I status, and the institution began an NCAA-mandated five-year process, including a four-year reclassification period (2003-07) that followed a one-year “exploratory period” (2002-03), to change its membership from Division II to Division I. This is the first reclassification class following a two-year moratorium within the NCAA that lifted on September 1, 2002 for new members and requests for change of division membership.
“I am delighted that we are now officially a Division I member of the NCAA,” said Dr. Cormier. “It has been a long but necessary process that began over four years ago, and I am very proud of the way Longwood has met all requirements. We look forward to the athletic challenges ahead.”
Rohn Brown, '84, with his first Lancer plate
The decision to move to Division I was part of Longwood’s overall strategic plan to raise the visibility and profile of the university. During the four-year reclassification, Longwood began its full compliance with all Division I legislation and membership requirements with year two (2004-05). Longwood has also submitted annual reports and strategic plans, each document updated yearly, during the past four years, while also completing an NCAA athletics certification orientation visit as well as completion of a compliance review conducted by the NCAA last year that followed an institutional Self-Study Report prepared by the Steering Committee on Certification at Longwood University.
“The reclassification process was an arduous one that required the time, energy, and support of many people including administrators, faculty, coaches, student-athletes, and Lancer Club members,” explained Longwood Director of Athletics Troy Austin. “Given the level of commitment, this is a truly satisfying accomplishment. I am extremely thankful for the efforts made to get to this point and excited for our future.“
Longwood competed as a Division I independent this year, though the Lancers do have single-sport conference memberships in field hockey (NorPac), men’s soccer (Atlantic Soccer), and women’s soccer (United Soccer).
The men’s golf and women’s lacrosse programs enjoyed Division I eligibility during 2006-07 via the NCAA’s Multidivisional Reclassification that permitted reclassifying schools to designate two sports (excluding basketball) for DI eligibility one year ahead of the school’s remaining programs.
Longwood men’s golf earned an invitation to the post-season NCAA East Regional last May in its first year of eligibility. Now, with official certification and eligibility across the board, the Lancers will be looking for more NCAA post-season qualifications in the near future.