Story contributed by Gary Ellison, McMurry Associate Communications
ABILENE, Texas – Abilene, TX – The McMurry University Board of Trustees has voted to withdraw the school’s provisional NCAA Division II membership bid and remain in NCAA Division III for all of its athletic programs.
“After reviewing the information available from the last two years and carefully considering all our options, the board has decided that NCAA Division III is a more appropriate fit for the University moving forward,” Board Chairman Chuck Fallon said. “We understand this will be a difficult adjustment for our student athletes, their families and for our athletic coaches. The McMurry administration will work closely with all those affected to provide assistance in making this transition.”
The University said it will continue to honor athletic aid covering tuition at the level currently being received by the affected student athletes for two years as long as they are participating in their sport.
“This decision is one part of an overall wide-ranging plan which will be implemented by new President Dr. Sandra Harper to continue McMurry’s academic excellence and achieve financial stability,” said Fallon.
“The Board believes remaining in NCAA Division III better reflects the mission, educational philosophy and financial structure of smaller liberal arts programs such as McMurry’s. We look forward to working with Dr. Harper to achieve this vision.”
McMurry will be reviewing possible NCAA Division III conference affiliations but has not yet determined a timeline for making those decisions.
McMurry has had a long and successful history of competing as a non-athletic scholarship school in both the NAIA and NCAA Division III as a founding member of both the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NAIA) and the American Southwest Conference (NCAA III).
Lone Star Conference Commissioner Stan Wagnon has issued the following statement in regard to conference membership:
“The Lone Star Conference has been notified by McMurry University of its decision to no longer pursue membership in NCAA Division II. At this time, we have had limited communication with officials at McMurry, and some questions remain about how today’s announcement might affect McMurry’s commitment to the Lone Star Conference as an affiliate member in the sports of Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track & Field for Winter 2014, Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field for Spring 2014, and Football for Fall 2014.
As Commissioner, I will work alongside the leadership at our LSC member campuses in the hours and days ahead to determine a prudent course of action. Further, I have assurance from McMurry president Sandra Harper of her desire to minimize disruption to our schedules during this transition. It will be our goal to reach conclusions on these matters with McMurry as quickly as possible.”