Here is something you don’t see everyday. Davenport University will be making the move from the NAIA to the NCAA’s Division II in 2017, but that’s not the unusual thing.
The most unusual thing is the fact that Davenport will be fielding a football team for the first time in 2016, meaning the team will play just one year in the NAIA before making the move to Division II. This likely means the Panthers will be the first team to ever be ineligible for postseason play for their inaugural season in the NCAA.
The school announced the move to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (GLIAC) on Friday evening. The move is still currently pending NCAA approval.
“We have worked diligently to build an athletic program that would be competitive at this level and we look forward to the many ways this will benefit our students, this institution, and other GLIAC member schools,” Dr. Richard Pappas, President of Davenport University said in statement. “We have enjoyed our previous affiliation with the NAIA and the rivalries within the WHAC. We look forward to the new challenges and new rivalries as a member of GLIAC.”
The school will continue to be a member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference in the NAIA for the 2016-17 academic year. They will join the conference alongside Purdue University Calumet in 2017, giving the GLIAC 12 full-time members.
The school has had a load of success in the NAIA. The last five years, the school has won the WHAC All-Sports Trophy, awarded to the school with the highest total finish in all sports combined, and celebrated its first national championship in 2014 with the men’s soccer team brought home the trophy.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to DUPanthers.com