INDIANAPOLIS--- Division II Presidents Council today approved a request from the Pacific West Conference to waive the two-year waiting period that applies to newly active leagues for an automatic qualification (AQ) to NCAA championships. With this decision, the PacWest, which had briefly fallen below the minimum membership requirements for active conferences membership, is immediately eligible for AQ in 2008-09.
“The Presidents Council sees this as a gesture to help Division II membership in the West, and an action that aligns with the Division II strategic-positioning platform that values Division II as a membership destination,” said Council Chair Stephen Jordan of Metropolitan State. “My colleagues and I believe that the health of the conferences in the western region is critical to Division II’s ability to retain established members and attract new institutions that fit the Division II identity.”
The PacWest had been a longstanding active Division II member conference until approximately 8 years ago when its membership split into two leagues – the PacWest and the Great Northwest Atlantic Conference. The PacWest lost its active status three years later when the league dipped below the required minimum of six institutions, but has since regained active membership with the addition of Dixie State College and Notre Dame de Namur University. However, because of the brief lapse in meeting minimum-membership requirements, the PacWest became subject to the two-year AQ rules.