TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Released by the University of Texas at Tyler:
The University of Texas at Tyler submitted a formal application today to the National Collegiate Athletic Association for Division II membership.
"We believe investing in a strong athletics program yields returns in several key areas including student and alumni engagement, brand awareness and school spirit," said Dr. Michael Tidwell, UT Tyler president. "Playing at the more competitive Division II level will bring additional excitement to our athletics events, as well as provide new opportunities for new scholarships."
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The decision to seek Division II membership was made after a nearly year-long vetting process with guidance from an expert consultant and internal research led by Athletics Director Dr. Howard Patterson.
"The goals outlined in our new strategic plan align with the Division II philosophy of 'Life in Balance' and the emphasis on community engagement that is at the heart of the Division II experience," Patterson said. "The Patriot athletics program has been creating champions in Division III for more than a decade, and we look forward to continuing that tradition should we be granted Division II membership."
If the application is accepted for review, the NCAA is expected to make a decision on UT Tyler's application in July. If UT Tyler is accepted into the Division II membership process, UT Tyler will enter a three-year provisional period during which the university will comply with Division II rules and regulations and implement Division II policies and procedures.
During the provisional period, UT Tyler teams are not eligible to compete for NCAA championships. At the end of the provisional period, the NCAA Division II Membership Committee will review UT Tyler's progress and may invite the university to be an active Division II member. If invited, UT Tyler would begin its full Division II membership on Sept. 1, 2021.
For more information about Patriot athletics, visit uttylerpatriots.com.
A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered. With more than 10,000 students, UT Tyler has facilities in Tyler, Longview, Palestine, and Houston.