Spring Hill College achieved full NCAA Division II membership as of September 1, 2018 after an extensive five year-long process. The obtainment of membership has brought about many changes and has presented new opportunities to SHC student-athletes, coaches, and their respective teams.
According to Chad LeBlanc, Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Internal Affairs, the obtainment of NCAA Division II membership means that all SHC athletic teams and individual athletes will be eligible to compete in postseason events, and will have a chance to win conference titles. SHC student-athletes, coaches, and teams will also have the chance to receive regional and national NCAA recognition based on athletic and/or academic performance.
“Really it [NCAA membership] was part of the larger strategic plan for the college itself, and we were looking for a better experience for our student-athletes going from the NAIA, which is another national governing organization, and being able to compete against those membership schools, to those that are a part of the NCAA. The NCAA is just a much larger organization, and it is a higher level of competition, generally among the schools,” said LeBlanc. “We are really happy to have completed this process, but we are most excited for our athletes. A lot of work and love went into it, and now we finally have a chance to enjoy full membership after five years.”
Jared Holland, senior men's basketball student-athlete, said, “The thing that has me most excited about being a full NCAA Division II member, is postseason. Playing in postseason is something I’ve always dreamed about, growing up watching the NCAA tournament on TV in March. I’ve always wanted to play in ‘March Madness’ and with our acceptance into full NCAA Division II membership, I finally have the chance to be a part of this tournament and turn a dream into reality.”
Even though the process was long, Holland said he appreciates the effort and persistence that was shown by SHC to achieve the goal of NCAA Division II status. “Our administration stayed persistent and locked in on accomplishing our goal because they had promised us this membership and mainly postseason play. It took the entire community to make this possible and I’m very proud of each and every person who contributed to the goal,” said Holland.
SHC is now 27th of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities around the nation to have earned full NCAA membership.