Friday, UT-Tyler officially submitted their application for Division II membership. The NCAA will now decide later this year if the application should be accepted for review. If this occurs, then UT-Tyler will start on a three-year process where they will implement Division II policies and procedures. During these three-years, UT-Tyler will not be eligible to compete in NCAA Championships.
I’m not sure it’s clear what the ASC will do if UT-Tyler is accepted for review (deadline is July 31). In reading up on the situation, it appears that UT-Tyler wants to remain in the ASC for one more year. I assume this would have to be approved by the ASC. I also assume that UT-Tyler would not immediately adopt Division II policies their first year. During this three-year provisional period, a school reclassifying to Division II must adopt all policies and procedures by their second year. This includes a minimum number of athletic scholarships. I did read a quote from Dr. Howard Patterson (Vice President for Student Affairs) that stated, “[By] the second year, we’ll be able to comply. In fact, we’ll be able to comply with most of them the first year.” If true, then I assume this would be the crux of any discussion of remaining in the ASC for the 2018-2019 season.
The plan for the 2019-2020 season is for UT-Tyler to move to the Lone Star Conference. This is a Division II conference that consists of 20-teams spread out over New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Again, during this three-year provisional period, UT-Tyler will be ineligible to compete in any NCAA Championships. Their goal is to be fully accepted into Division II by the fall of 2021.
As for me, I really enjoyed watching UT-Tyler volleyball as I felt they were one of the better attacking teams in the West Region. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on their current roster as any player from last year that stays with the team will not be allowed to play in an NCAA Championship. That seems like a hard pill to swallow. I would think it will also be difficult to recruit for the next couple of years. Regardless, I wish the Patriots well as they move forward and will be interested in any movements of players to other Division III teams this coming fall.
If you would like to read more on this, I suggest the following: