The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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July 14, 2010

WVU Tech’s bid to return to NCAA rejected

WVU Tech’s application to join NCAA Division II has been rejected.

The NCAA Division II membership committee, meeting in Indianapolis last week, considered the applications of Tech and 11 other schools.

It accepted eight while denying the applications of Tech, California State-San Marcos and Trevecca Nazarene University of the NAIA and Young Harris College of the NJCAA.

“Obviously we are disappointed with the result,” said Tech’s Director of Athletics, Frank Pergolizzi. “We’ve known all along that the NCAA Division II membership process is an extremely competitive process, as was the case again this year.

“As a department and institution, we will re-evaluate our application and use it as a tool to continue to move our programs forward and execute our strategic plan.”

The Montgomery school left both the NCAA and West Virginia Conference in 2006 and joined the NAIA and Mid-South Conference.

It proved an expensive decision. According to an audit released last fall, Tech’s travel expenses since switching to the Mid-South Conference have jumped by 240 percent.

“It’s 16 to 18-hour bus rides to some games versus an hour to Concord or a half-hour to West Virginia State or the University of Charleston,” Tech football coach Scott Tinsley said. “(Being in the WVC) costs so much less, not just for football, but for the entire athletic program.”

Tech had hoped to rejoin the WVC as well as the NCAA, but would have remained in the Mid-South for at least one year.

Tinsley also cited alumni support as a factor for wanting to return to the WVC, which Tech first joined as New River State College in 1924.

“Our alumni aren’t sure who Bethel College (in McKenzie, Tenn.) is,” he said. “We could both be 5-0 and it wouldn’t be the same as if it was a big game with Fairmont State. It doesn’t ring the same bell.”

Rejoining the NCAA would cost Tech $25,000. The WVC has a $10,000 membership fee, of which Tech has reportedly already paid $1,000.

Schools accepted by the NCAA committee were Black Hills State University, California Baptist University, Lindenwood University, Malone University, McKendree University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Ursuline College and Walsh University.

All are currently NAIA schools.

“It’s disappointing, but I wouldn’t say it’s a shock, either,” Tinsley said. “We weren’t the only one denied, and this was our first time trying to do it.

“I’m sure there are some things the administration has learned from the experience. We’ll do better next year when we apply again.

“Our goals haven’t changed. We’re still moving forward.”

— E-mail: dstillwell@register-herald.com

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