UW-Green Bay under NCAA probation, university remains optimistic
University’s athletic department will remain on probation through 2031 after failing to be reach sports-sponsorship requirements for 2021-22.
GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — UW-Green Bay’s Division I status could be in jeopardy.
The university received a letter from the NCAA detailing the institution’s shortcomings in meeting the Division I level sports-sponsorship for the 2021-22 year.
Prior to the notice, the school’s tennis program was removed and funding from both men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams were cut.
As a result, the school was placed on probation. Faculty and staff found out about it this week.
“Probation is a scary word, but in this case, it just means don’t mess up again,” UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander said. “The other question we’ve been asked a lot is why now … A lot of universities are under academic pressure right now. I was giving an opening speech to our faculty and staff and talked about the importance of funding Division I athletics.”
Chancellor Alexander said the problem had already been fixed upon receiving the notice from the Association, citing thorough budget planning as the biggest reason the program has stayed afloat.
Chancellor Alexander said the probation notice served nothing more than a warning. It will be lifted in 2031. If the university is found violating the sponsorship requirements again, it could risk its Division I status.
“If we would be in violation again under the sports sponsorship funding issue, we would risk losing our Division I status.”
Students such as Zach Bridges and Megan Ringmeier remain optimistic.
“The reason I came here is basically because my mom went here,” Bridges, a sophomore in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, said. “Obviously basketball is kind our sport, hopefully the ladies can get back there and make it to the NCAA Championship game. Our golf team, we won the Horizon league championship, we’re hoping to go back again.”
Ringmeier, a sophomore in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, is also a student-athlete on the dance team.
“I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year,” Ringmeier said. “It’s going to feel good for the dance team to come in to a whole different atmosphere. I feel like the games are going to be a lot more exciting to dance at.”
A year of excitement amidst previous uncertainty. Confidence remains high for Chancellor Alexander.
“I’m always confident because I have a great team and so we are excited about the year coming,” Alexander said.
“If you go around here on campus, it does not really scream D-I,” Bridges said. “We can definitely make an impact, especially athletic-wise, with us being in the Division I.”
The first of classes at UW-Green Bay is on Sept 6. The season for the women’s basketball team starts on Oct. 25 and the men’s team will begin on Oct. 30.
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