North Dakota approved for full D-I membership
Grand Forks, ND (Sports Network) - The University of North Dakota has received word that its athletic department has been approved for full Division I membership effective at the beginning of the upcoming academic year.
The NCAA issued a letter verifying the program's new status on Thursday, officially completing the transition from Division II.
"The University has been waiting for formal notification of its successful completion of the NCAA D-1 transition process. That notification arrived today," said North Dakota president Robert O. Kelley. "This completes a significant milestone in the long tradition of UND athletics."
Multiple reports have indicated that the completion of the process was held up due to the state and the university's battle over the school's former long- time nickname of Fighting Sioux.
North Dakota's men's hockey program has competed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association at the D-I level for decades. It will now be joined permanently by the rest of its teams, who will compete in five other conferences.
"This marks a historic moment for UND Athletics," said UND athletics director Brian Faison. "This has been a long and involved process. It has clearly been a tremendous team effort involving hundreds of staff, student-athletes and administrators in the process. I want to thank our alumni and fans for their patience and support throughout these five years."
08/02 17:07:22 ET