Proposal provides guidelines for creation of competitive sports program at UC Merced
MERCED - The University of California, Merced, now has a strategic plan to guide the future of its athletics program. The Chancellor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which was convened in July, released its report today, April 22.
The commission, which includes Los Angeles Galaxy coach Cobi Jones, and other UC Merced representatives and community supporters, lent guidance to a consulting team hired by the university to research the best way for the campus to build its competitive athletics program.
"Athletics is a crucial component to university life," said David Dunham, director of recreation and athletics for UC Merced. "But in order for it to be effective, the program must be strategically planned and methodically carried out. Thanks to the efforts of the Chancellor's Blue Ribbon Commission and the consulting team, UC Merced now has that strategic plan to follow."
The consultants, Cedric Dempsey and Ted Leland, both have a long
history in collegiate athletics. Dempsey served as president of the
National Collegiate Athletic Association from 1994 to 2003, and
Leland was athletic director of Stanford University from 1991 to
The report contains 13 recommendations that UC Merced will use in forming its intercollegiate athletics program. Of those recommendations, four are highlighted here:
1. It's recommended that UC Merced adopt "Core and Supplemental Criteria" to be used when evaluating which sports should be chosen for intercollegiate competition.
2. It's recommended that UC Merced set a goal of 12 sports (six for men and six for women). The sports should be phased in over time with two sports added per phase.
3. During the initial phase-in period, it's recommended that UC Merced compete at the NCAA Division III or NAIA level.
4. It's recommended that UC Merced's long-term goal should be to compete in NCAA Division II.
"What we've created here is a road map for athletics at UC Merced," Leland said Wednesday morning. "It's our hope that the recommendations listed here will guide the university in the creation of a solid program that instills pride in its students, faculty, staff and community supporters."
This report comes on the heels of UC Merced launching its new athletics logo in October. The fiercer looking Golden Bobcat now graces all athletic uniforms and merchandise in the campus store .
Now that the commission has released its report, campus officials will spend the summer digesting the recommendations before taking action in the fall. The next step will be for Chancellor Steve Kang to appoint an athletic advisory committee, which will guide the formation of UC Merced's athletics program.
UC Merced Office of Communications