Athletics Department Looks Into D-I Leap

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    Because of minor disputes in scheduling of matches and the desire to compete against like institutions, the Athletics Department is seriously considering moving up a division despite the current four-year moratorium on Division-I applicants.

    ‘We’re always looking at possibilities and thinking about what to do if our current situation changes,’ Grosse said. ‘[Athletic Director Earl Edwards] has talked to the Big West and other conferences so we’re prepared.’

    The Big West, the Tritons’ most likely D-I destination, is comprised of all-former CCAA teams with the exception of UC Irvine.

    A.S. President Utsav Gupta plans to put the D-I debate on the council’s all-campus student interest poll this fall.

    A similar poll was included with this spring’s A.S. election ballot, probing students about their interest in an intercollegiate UCSD football team. Of the 24 percent of undergraduates who voted, 70 percent expressed support for a team, willing to pay an average of about $19 per quarter.

    ‘The students have shown their support,’ Gupta said. ‘Now it’s on the A.S. council to react.’

    Because of Title IX ‘mdash; a law requiring schools to match the number of men’s roster spots with women’s roster spots ‘mdash; a new football team would require cutting about 80 total male Tritons from various squads. Currently, neither the Big West nor the CCAA offer football programs, so finding competition could be a tall task.

    ‘When students say they want a football team, they’re thinking Division-I USC vs. UCLA,’ Grosse said. ‘That just doesn’t seem real feasible.’

    While Grosse sees the leap to Division-I as more realistic, the move comes with a price. The Athletics Fee Referendum of 2007 increased athletics fees from $95 to $329 per year. The larger budget was used to comply with a then-new Division-II mandate that requires all programs to offer $250,000 in scholarships.

    NCAA’s mandate for Division-I athletic scholarships is $964,700, which may require more money from students and donations from UCSD’s surrounding community.

    Despite the freeze on applications, Gupta said the council should start planning now for a possible move.

    ‘We need to start our discussions now and take a proactive role in all of issues to see what it’s going to cost students,’ Gupta said. ‘We need to ensure that we’re protecting student interest.’

    Readers can contact Janani Sridharan at [email protected].

    ” />#1.1759850:3878313875.jpg:060409sports2::Erik Jepsen/Guardian File

    ‘ Take a quick look at the University of California athletics programs and UCSD sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s not our lack of a football team that sets us apart ‘mdash; only three UCs currently offer the sport. What separates UCSD is that ‘mdash; with the exception of UC Merced, which does not feature intercollegiate athletics ‘mdash; the Tritons are the only remaining team still competing in Division II.

    UCSD didn’t make its move to Division II until 2000 and even then the school’s size and prestige hindered the Tritons’ ability to schedule matches against smaller colleges with less resources.

    Less than a decade later, the same scenario is repeating itself ‘mdash; this time at the Division-II level. Currently, most of UCSD’s teams compete as the only non-CSU members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

    ‘In the CCAA, we’re the lone wolf as the only UC and are regularly outvoted by the state schools who have similar interests,’ Senior Associate Athletic Director Ken Grosse said.

    Because of minor disputes in scheduling of matches and the desire to compete against like institutions, the Athletics Department is seriously considering moving up a division despite the current four-year moratorium on Division-I applicants.

    ‘We’re always looking at possibilities and thinking about what to do if our current situation changes,’ Grosse said. ‘[Athletic Director Earl Edwards] has talked to the Big West and other conferences so we’re prepared.’

    The Big West, the Tritons’ most likely D-I destination, is comprised of all-former CCAA teams with the exception of UC Irvine.

    A.S. President Utsav Gupta plans to put the D-I debate on the council’s all-campus student interest poll this fall.

    A similar poll was included with this spring’s A.S. election ballot, probing students about their interest in an intercollegiate UCSD football team. Of the 24 percent of undergraduates who voted, 70 percent expressed support for a team, willing to pay an average of about $19 per quarter.

    ‘The students have shown their support,’ Gupta said. ‘Now it’s on the A.S. council to react.’

    Because of Title IX ‘mdash; a law requiring schools to match the number of men’s roster spots with women’s roster spots ‘mdash; a new football team would require cutting about 80 total male Tritons from various squads. Currently, neither the Big West nor the CCAA offer football programs, so finding competition could be a tall task.

    ‘When students say they want a football team, they’re thinking Division-I USC vs. UCLA,’ Grosse said. ‘That just doesn’t seem real feasible.’

    While Grosse sees the leap to Division-I as more realistic, the move comes with a price. The Athletics Fee Referendum of 2007 increased athletics fees from $95 to $329 per year. The larger budget was used to comply with a then-new Division-II mandate that requires all programs to offer $250,000 in scholarships.

    NCAA’s mandate for Division-I athletic scholarships is $964,700, which may require more money from students and donations from UCSD’s surrounding community.

    Despite the freeze on applications, Gupta said the council should start planning now for a possible move.

    ‘We need to start our discussions now and take a proactive role in all of issues to see what it’s going to cost students,’ Gupta said. ‘We need to ensure that we’re protecting student interest.’

    Readers can contact Janani Sridharan at [email protected].

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