Why did Thomas More choose to pursue the NAIA?
We did not find a fit for a NCAA DIII conference that made geographical sense. We felt our student-athletes would benefit from less travel time, more competitions closer to home and by offering scholarship money we would be able to attract even more highly qualified student-athletes.
Once Thomas More decided to pursue NAIA membership, what was the feedback on campus?
Some had questions, exactly what is the NAIA? Once we educated them and discussed the academic requirements, the eligibility center and the guidelines for eligibility, the community began to see the benefits and understand the academic standards are strong, the organization is supportive and they have our student-athletes best interests at heart.
What campus benefits have you seen since returning to the NAIA?
We have increased our number of games/matches in many of our sports, which will allow our students to become more active and vibrant on campus. We anticipate excitement with our renewal of some old rivalries, which should increase our attendance thus creating an even more vibrant atmosphere for our games/matches.
How do you find the level of competition in the NAIA?
The level of competition is something we look forward to continue seeing progress in our new conference. We have not played many NAIA schools in the past, so we are not sure what to expect. We are ready to embrace the challenge and our coaches and student-athletes are excited.
As an administrator and coach, why do you prefer the NAIA?
The NAIA has been very open and has worked well with us to make our transition a smooth and positive experience. We are experiencing many new things especially the eligibility center and academic procedures involved. I like the association setting minimum eligibility standards, you feel like you are competing on a level playing field. I look forward to facing the challenges of stronger competition and understanding the processes of the NAIA as we move forward and discover all it has to offer.
To learn more about NAIA membership and Thomas More Athletics