Grizzlies accepted to NAIA

The Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies have been accepted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

The Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies have been accepted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). 

NAIA officials announced the organization’s decision Sunday at the NAIA annual convention, held in Newport Beach, Calif.  GGC’s Director of Athletics, Dr. Darin Wilson, was on hand to hear the news.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the NAIA,” Wilson said. “This is a key step in building intercollegiate athletics at GGC. It's a testament to all of the people at GGC who have worked so hard to make this a reality.” 

Georgia Gwinnett will compete as a full NAIA member effective Aug. 1, 2012, and will be eligible for NAIA championships beginning with the 2013-14 season. Its membership was approved along with Indiana University Kokomo; Lindenwood University-Belleville (Ill.); and St. Andrews University (N.C.).

These four institutions were among the first set of institutions subjected to the NAIA’s new, more rigorous, annual membership process. The NAIA Membership Committee reviewed each institution’s application and determined which institutions would move to the next stage of the process. Those institutions then participated in a campus visit by a Membership Evaluation Team. The NAIA received seven applications in 2011, but only four made it through the entire process and received approval by the Council of Presidents.

Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO, noted that these new members were subjected to a more rigorous analysis than in the past.

“Our process ensures that the NAIA membership is strong and that new members share our values,” Carr said. “We’re pleased that this new process is working and that more institutions than ever are inquiring about membership with the NAIA. We think the NAIA has a lot to offer, and we’re excited about sharing our story with other potential members.”

“This is a historic moment for the college and for Grizzly Athletics,” said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. “I commend Dr. Wilson and his entire staff for how quickly they are progressing toward our first official season in intercollegiate competition.”

The Grizzlies face their first intercollegiate opponents Aug. 25 in a double-header men’s and women’s soccer match with Tennessee Temple University.

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