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Covenant Now Active Member of NCAA Division III

Covenant's four-year transitional period in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has come to a close. Covenant College was officially accepted as an active member of the NCAA Division III. Covenant’s athletic department is now eligible for all benefits of Division III, including both conference and national postseason play, and national awards.


Former Director of Athletics Tami Smialek and former Compliance Coordinator Laura Peterson Mlynski were both influential in the transition process, which began in 2009. As the standard in college athletics, the NCAA requires a four-year provisional membership prior to official acceptance in the association.


"I want to say a special thank you to our student-athletes for being patient through this process," said Director of Athletics Kyle Taylor. "Their continued support, matriculation, and work ethic did not go unnoticed."


Founded in 1906, the NCAA is the governing body for more than 1,000 schools, encompassing more than 400,000 student-athletes. In 1973, the membership divided among three divisions. Division III is the largest of all NCAA divisions, with 436 institutions claiming membership.


 Academics are the chief concern for student-athletes competing in the NCAA Division III. In comparison to Covenant’s previous athletic association, the NCAA Division III has shorter practice and playing seasons, as well as fewer games per season, which means student-athletes will miss fewer classes and have more time to focus on academics.


"NCAA Division III is the ideal athletic affiliation for Covenant College and our athletic department," Taylor said. "Division III's core values align very well with our philosophy of athletics."


“There is much expectation and excitement,” said senior soccer player Matt Hudnut. “This is the first year, of many, where any Scots team will be fighting for an NCAA national championship. For men's soccer, this is what we have been waiting for the last couple of years. We are the Scots!”


Covenant's active membership in NCAA Division III will be effective September 1, 2013.