Debby De Angelis
The NCAA Division II membership committee and management council have accepted California State University, East Bay's athletic program for the first year of exploratory membership in Division II, according to Debby De Angelis, the university's director of athletics.
With those approvals, Cal State East Bay will begin the exploratory membership at the more prominent level on Sept. 1 as it awaits approval of the California Collegiate Athletic Association to join that conference and its 10 public universities located throughout the state for league competition. CCAA membership includes California State Universities from San Francisco, Sonoma, Humboldt, Chico, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Pomona, Monterey Bay, Stanislaus and Dominguez Hills, as well as UC San Diego. The conference is headquartered in Walnut Creek.
"We are excited to be on the first step toward Division II membership," De Angelis said.
CSUEB expects to begin competition in the CCAA as a "scheduling partner" for the 2009-2010 athletic seasons, with eligibility for conference championships when the NCAA approves its "active status."
The Pioneer teams will continue to compete for one more year with dual membership in NCAA Division III and NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) during the 2008-2009 academic year.
CSUEB's men's and women's basketball, cross country and golf teams have been participating in the California Pacific Conference for the right to participate in post-season playoffs through the NAIA. Other Pioneer teams, including women's volleyball and softball and men's baseball, have been competing as NCAA Division III independents, with no league or conference affiliation.
Discussion about a division move for the Cal State East Bay intercollegiate athletics program was initiated in 2007 by members of the 2006-2007 Associated Students board, who asked President Mo Qayoumi to explore the concept.
The university announced in May its intention to move to NCAA Division II and to the CCAA.