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Flagler College has finally received the news it was looking for throughout this three-year process — welcome to NCAA Div. II. During a teleconference last month with the NCAA and with recommendation from the Div. II membership committee, Flagler’s last year of provisional status has been waived and all of its 13 teams are eligible for post-season play starting this fall.
“It has been a long process and it is a relief to know we are officially an active member of NCAA Div. II,” said Athletic Director Dave Barnett. “This process not only involved the athletic department staff, but the entire college community beginning with the commitment of our President Dr. William Abare.”
The process all started back in the summer of 2005 when Flagler applied for membership to NCAA Div. II. The Saints were still eligible for the NAIA post-season and the Florida Sun Conference for the 2005-06 season as it was in an exploratory phase of NCAA status. During its initial year of the exploratory phase, a prospective member works on learning the NCAA rulebook and works on falling into compliance with all NCAA rules. In 2006-07, Flagler was in its second exploratory phase and no longer eligible for the NAIA, which it had been a member of since 1977. The Saints were also ineligible for any NCAA post-season play. This past year Flagler served the first of what is usually two provisional years of NCAA membership.
Flagler still remains an independent, but is actively seeking conference membership. Flagler is now a member of the NCAA Div. II South Region along with member schools of the Gulf South, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic and Sunshine State Conferences, as well as a handful of other independents. The Saints will contend with those member institutions for the regional post-season bids in all sports.
As a member of the NAIA, Flagler won five national titles in women’s tennis and two more in men’s tennis. In all, 128 student-athletes earned NAIA All-America honors including five who were selected “Most Outstanding Player” for the year. The Saints also earned 37 scholar-athlete awards in the NAIA. Two coaches, Peter Scott and Walter Shinn, were named “Coach of the Year” by the NAIA. Scott did it twice and Shinn was selected five times.
Flagler’s 13 intercollegiate sports are baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis and volleyball.