Houston Baptist Granted Full NCAA Division I Membership
Aug. 13, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas - Great West Conference member Houston Baptist University has announced that it has been granted full Division I membership by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. HBU was informed of the approval by the NCAA Board of Directors on Thursday and made the announcement public at a press conference Saturday morning.
"The entire HBU family is looking forward to the opportunities the University will have as an NCAA Division I institution," said HBU President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "As we expand our athletics programs and venues, this level of competition will enhance our student recruitment and retention efforts and bring recognition on the athletic field. It will not only benefit our students and alumni but also have a very positive impact on the Houston community. Division I athletics will help the University fulfill its mission as a Christian institution of higher education committed to excellence in all of its programs."
HBU's athletic programs are immediately eligible for NCAA postseason play and revenue sharing, and its student-athletes will be recognized among the NCAA statistical leaders and will be eligible for NCAA honors.
HBU competed at the NCAA Division I level from 1973-1989, then competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Huskies enjoyed much national success at the NAIA level, but made the decision to re-apply for NCAA Division I membership in 2007. HBU's application was accepted and the school was given provisional Division I status, until it could satisfy all necessary requirements during the NCAA's mandatory transition process over the last four years.
"This is a tremendous day for HBU," Director of Athletics Steve Moniaci said. "This has been a four-and-a-half year journey that could not have been accomplished without the dedication of our Board of Trustees, alumni, faculty, coaches, staff, and our student-athletes who have risen to meet the challenges put before them by this transition and now find themselves on equal footing with the best intercollegiate athletics has to offer."
HBU currently sponsors 15 sports, eight for women (soccer, volleyball, cross country, basketball, indoor and outdoor track and field, golf and softball) and seven for men (soccer, cross country, basketball, indoor and outdoor track and field, golf and baseball).