The Utah Valley University athletics department was notified Tuesday by NCAA Membership Services of its unanimous approval to lift the school’s provisional status and accept it as an official member of NCAA Division I. The move completes the University’s unprecedented move straight from NJCAA to NCAA athletics.
Full membership now permits all of UVU’s athletic teams and individual athletes to be eligible for NCAA postseason events.
“The lightning speed by which UVU moved from junior college to become an official member of NCAA Division I is a magnificent tribute to the entire university,” said Utah Valley University President Matthew Holland. “We are especially proud of the administrators, coaches and student-athletes who have worked so hard and with such excellence to make this happen.”
“This is another great day for Utah Valley University and Wolverine Athletics. This has literally been a nine-year process with the final seven being mandated by the NCAA,” said UVU Director of Athletics Mike Jacobsen. “I could not be happier for our coaches and student-athletes. They have been the heroes throughout this provisional period. We look forward to what the future will bring.”
UVU’s seven-year provisional period began with an exploratory year in 2002-03, its final season in junior college athletics. In 2003-04, teams began competing with partial Div. I schedules and a year later all of UVU’s teams were competing with full Div. I slates.
In November of 2007, an NCAA Peer Review team made up of other NCAA Div. I member administrators, made an on-campus visit to assess the progress of the school’s transition. The group’s response was overwhelmingly positive.
On May 29, 2008, UVU received notification from the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification that the school successfully completed its first NCAA certification peer review. That notification coincided with the school’s official switch to university status on July 1, 2008. The process then became complete with official word on Tuesday.
Utah Valley’s athletics have truly excelled at a greater rate than expected during the transition. The men’s basketball team has a record of 109-62 over the last six seasons, while the women’s volleyball program has gone 91-74 with three Independent Championships during the same time frame.
Utah Valley helped produce and develop numerous star athletes during the transition to Division I. Ronnie Price has spent the past four years in the NBA, two with the Sacramento Kings and the last two with the Utah Jazz. Kam Mickolio became the first UVU baseball player to play in the Major Leagues when me made his debut with the Baltimore Orioles in August 2008. Also, former track and field athlete Noelle Pikus-Pace became the first American woman to win the Overall World Cup title in the sport of skeleton.