WICHITA, Kan. — Newman University has accepted an invitation from the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) to participate as an associate member in all 14 NCAA sports the university sponsors beginning in the 2019-20 academic year.
Associate membership will provide all of Newman’s NCAA athletic programs with a full regular-season conference schedule, as well as opportunities to qualify for MIAA postseason competition.
The MIAA is a 14-school, NCAA Division II athletic conference featuring public and private institutions in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Newman has been informed that the MIAA is studying membership shifts in NCAA Division II, particularly in the Midwest, and holding discussions on whether to remove a requirement that member schools must sponsor football in order to be a full MIAA member institution.
While the conference addresses this question and concludes its membership study, which also determines whether it will expand or add full members, Newman has been invited by the MIAA CEO Council to participate as an associate member.
Details of Newman’s relationship with the MIAA still need to be determined. Conference leadership will be considering those issues this spring and summer.
Newman currently competes as an MIAA associate member in the sport of wrestling. The Jets will host the conference wrestling championships Sunday at Fugate Gymnasium.
Director of Athletics Vic Trilli believes this an exciting development for the university. “This is a huge move for Newman University, our coaches and our student-athletes. The college landscape at all division levels is changing and as Newman athletics continues to grow we’re looking forward to our next challenge. The MIAA is one of the best conferences in the country. We’re thrilled to compete at that level and build new and lasting rivalries.”
Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., who met with MIAA officials at the NCAA meetings last month in Indianapolis, believes this is an important first step for the university. “We see this as an opportunity to better position ourselves in a NCAA Division II league that is well known and highly regarded in the region and nationally. With member institutions in Kansas and states that border our state, the MIAA will also provide benefits in savings for travel and less time out of the classroom for our student-athletes.”
For the past ten years Newman has belonged to the Heartland Conference and annually competed against MIAA member schools in non-league competitions in various sports.
Newman currently fields teams in 18 sports: Basketball (men and women), soccer (men and women), golf (men and women), tennis (men and women), cross country (men and women),bowling (men and women), triathlon (men and women), volleyball, softball, baseball and wrestling.
Newman’s final year of membership in the Heartland Conference will be 2018-19.