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King University News :: King moves to NCAA Division II and Conference Carolinas

BRISTOL, Tenn. - King College announced Monday that the School is formally accepted as an NCAA Division II member. Additionally, the Bristol based College has been accepted for membership in Conference Carolinas. Both announcements were made Monday by King president Dr. Gregory D. Jordan.

The process to move to NCAA Division II started for King officially in the summer of 2007. Staff members from the entire campus community were involved in the commitment to pursue the affiliation, which is generally a 3 year process. King was a provisional NCAA Division II member for the 2009-10 year after spending two years in exploratory stages and was notified that the school has moved on to full membership status on Friday, July 9.

This step forward to NCAA Division II will change the dynamic of the entire King College community, Jordan said about the move. The NCAA membership allows King new opportunities both athletically and academically which coincide with the school's mission and represent the culmination of the past years' growth in our athletic program.

King is now one of seven NCAA Division II members in Tennessee and joins a national organization of nearly 300 NCAA Division II institutions.

The NCAA requires Division II members to be well-conducted intercollegiate athletic programs, based on sound educational principles and practices. A concern for the educational welfare of the participating student-athlete is a key element of NCAA Division II members. NCAA Division II member institutions also provide growth opportunities for student-athletes through academic achievement, high level athletic competition, and development of societal attitudes in service and community. All of which are a part of the NCAA Division II Life in the Balance program.

The athletic department moves 19 intercollegiate sports to the NCAA Division II ranks, baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, men's and women's volleyball, and men's wrestling. The school also offers athletic opportunities in cycling, women's wrestling, cheerleading and dancing which are not sponsored by the NCAA.

The Tornado and Lady Tornado competed as an NAIA school through the 2008-09 year and King athletes participated in the National Christian College Athletic Association as 14 teams competed in NCCAA National events during 2009-10 with six Top-5 finishes.

For the 2010-11 athletic campaign King will have the opportunity to earn berths to NCAA Championships as an at-large selection before competing in Conference Carolinas play in 2011-12.

In the 80-year history of the league, King is only the second member not located in the Carolinas. Other current members are located in North Carolina and South Carolina. The only other member from outside the Carolinas was Longwood (Va.) University from 1995-2003.

King will join current conference members Barton (N.C.) College, Belmont Abbey (N.C.) College, Coker (S.C.) College, Converse (S.C.) College, Erskine (S.C.) College, Lees-McRae (N.C.) College, Limestone (S.C.) College, Mount Olive (N.C.) College, Pfeiffer (N.C.) University, Queens (N.C.) University of Charlotte and St. Andrews Presbyterian (N.C.) College in 2011.

The Conference is uniquely comprised of private colleges and universities with an emphasis on undergraduate education. Recent national championships by conference members include basketball, baseball, men's lacrosse, and individual champions in golf and track and field.  Another important distinctive of the conference is its emphasis on graduation and academic success. Student-athletes within the conference graduate at a rate higher than general student populations.

Conference Carolinas not only provides a strong athletic avenue for King student-athletes but it also has a focus on students' success away from the fields and courts, Jordan commented about the league. The Conference will allow King to build on a rich athletic history and build new rivalries.

King will compete in 16 sports in Conference Carolinas, baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and men's and women's volleyball. The Tornado men's volleyball team competed in Conference Carolinas play in 2010.

It is not often that a conference which shares equal values for academic and athletic excellence has the opportunity to add members having identical values. Fortunately we were presented that opportunity, stated Conference Carolinas Commissioner Alan Patterson in a league release. In today's climate of conference alignment often based on income production, it is refreshing that we were able to expand based on like student-athlete educational experiences.

The growing Conference Carolinas also added North Greenville University (S.C.), giving the organization 13 members for the 2011-12 year. The membership boost was the first time the conference expanded since 2005 when Converse College (S.C.) joined.