Swannanoa, N.C. – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has approved Warren Wilson College's application for exploratory membership in NCAA Division III. The membership process will bring additional sports and wider opportunities for the College's student athletes.
"This is a very exciting time to be a part of Warren Wilson Athletics!" said Joni Williamson, Director of Athletics and Adventure Sports at Warren Wilson College. "The acceptance of our exploratory application is a huge step forward for the College and our student-athlete experience."
Warren Wilson College plans to introduce a new team sport in the near future to meet NCAA Division III requirements. The benefits of membership would also include closer travel, conference and postseason championship opportunities, resources, grant opportunities, professional development, and more.
The NCAA Division III philosophy supports a college environment focused on academic rigor while integrating the experience of passionate participation in competitive athletics. In preparation for this move, the College has already established a Student Athlete Advisory Committee and a faculty athletics representative.
"The NCAA Division III philosophy is a natural fit, and we are looking forward to beginning this journey with the NCAA," said Williamson.
Currently a member of the United State Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Division II, Warren Wilson College will maintain dual-affiliation until the process for full membership in the NCAA is complete. Current varsity teams at the college include Men's and Women's Basketball, Cross Country, Cycling, Soccer, Swimming, and Tennis. The process will not affect the Cycling Team, as it is not a NCAA-sponsored sport.
Warren Wilson College will begin their exploratory membership year during the 2019-2020 academic year. NCAA staff and a representative from the NCAA Membership Committee will visit campus to evaluate the college's philosophical and operational readiness for the provisional membership process, and they will educate college staff on NCAA Division III compliance concepts. After this exploratory year, the college will have an opportunity to enter into the five-year membership process.