In May of 2005, California State University President Dr. Horace Mitchell announced that the University would initiate the process of moving the highly–regarded CSUB athletics program from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I status.

For the Roadrunners, the 2005–06 academic year was the first in a five–year process of reclassification set forth by the NCAA. Should they successfully complete the process, the Roadrunners would become full NCAA Division I members in 2010–11.

The proposed move dovetails nicely with Dr. Mitchell’s emphasis on excellence in all CSUB disciplines and programs. In fact, the goal he set forth when he became CSUB’s president in 2004 was to make CSUB the top campus in the CSU system within 10 years.

As arguably the most successful member in NCAA Division II history, Roadrunner Athletics have long embodied that vision. In order for the Roadrunners to truly step up to Dr. Mitchell’s call to excellence, they must test themselves against the best—that means NCAA Division I competition.

The move will not be unprecedented. Many of CSUB’s former rivals, including Cal Poly, UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge and UC Davis have made the jump in recent years. In fact, all nine of the current Big West Conference members began as NCAA Division II institutions. To take that one step further, all Big West Conference members except UC Irvine were members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association before making the jump to NCAA Division I status. Other former CCAA members who successfully made the jump to NCAA Division I include San Diego State, Fresno State, San Jose State and Pepperdine University.

Moving to NCAA Division I status is not automatic. Beginning with an “exploratory year,” (which CSUB completed in 2005–06), institutions must complete a five–year process to full NCAA Division I membership. Below is a year–by–year breakdown of the steps CSUB will take on the road to DI:


2005–06: Exploratory Year
*** Considered a full NCAA Division II member and eligible for championships
*** Attendance at the NCAA Convention by the CEO, AD, SWA, FAR and Compliance
*** Coordinator
*** Attendance at an orientation session conducted by the NCAA national office staff by the
*** CSUB administrators listed above.
*** Submit a skeleton strategic plan that addresses NCAA Division I philosophy statement and
*** certification operating principles by required deadline following academic year
*** Note that CSUB’s current status as an NCAA Division I participant in wrestling and
*** women’s water polo is not affected by this change



2006–07: Transition Year 1
*** Considered NCAA Division II for scheduling against Division I opponents and considered
*** Division I when scheduling against Division II opponents.
*** Compliance with all minimum contest and participation requirements for sports sponsorship
*** as set forth in NCAA Division I Bylaws.
*** Submit formal application and fee to the NCAA
*** Submit a revised strategic plan based on the plan submitted during exploratory year.
*** Apply NCAA Division I legislation in all areas except scheduling
*** Attendance at the NCAA Convention
*** Attendance at an NCAA orientation session
*** Submit an annual report



2007–08: Transition Year 2
*** Considered NCAA Division I for scheduling against all opponents
*** Full compliance with all NCAA Division I legislation and membership requirements,
*** including scholarship minimums and Division I scheduling
*** Attendance at NCAA Convention
*** Submit an annual report and updated strategic plan based on feedback from previous year



2008–09: Transition Year 3
*** Attendance at NCAA Convention required by CEO, AD, SWA, FAR and Compliance
*** Coordinator
*** Completion of NCAA athletics certification orientation visit.
*** Submit an annual report and updated strategic plan based on feedback from previous year



2009–10: Transition Year 4
*** Successfully complete an NCAA athletics certification self study and evaluation visit
*** Attendance at NCAA Convention
*** Submit an annual report and updated strategic plan based on feedback from previous year



2010–11: Full NCAA Division I Membership
*** Should CSUB successfully navigate the five–year transition process, it will become a full
*** NCAA Division I member