Oklahoma Baptist University announced Friday the school has been approved for full membership by the NCAA.
It’s been a three-year process for OBU to make the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II.
The Bison will now be eligible to compete in conference and NCAA postseason events, with full membership effective September 1.
“Getting the news that OBU has made it through the NCAA Division II membership process and has been accepted as a full member of the division is both an honor and a great achievement,” said OBU Director of Athletics Robert Davenport.
“This could not have been possible without the hard work and diligence of several people. First, I would like to thank Dr. Whitlock for his vision and leadership to put us on this path. Without his direction we would not have been able to move forward. Secondly, Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Steve Fluke has worked tirelessly on this project and without his unending efforts and dedication to his job we would have never been able to put the NCAA Division II compliance pieces together. And third, I would like to thank the entire campus as it took each and every person on campus to buy in to the NCAA Division II process and to embrace it in a way that has made the transition seamless.”
“We are pleased for Oklahoma Baptist University to be granted full membership into NCAA Division II,” said Dr. David Whitlock, OBU president. “Our athletics department staff, coaches, and many others on campus, are to be commended for their tireless work and efforts over the past three years, as we completed the transition process. Our coaches and players have competed well in Division II the past two seasons, and we are excited to see what the future holds. We look forward to continuing the rich tradition of excellence in Bison athletics as we move forward as full members of NCAA Division II.”
“One of the tenants of the OBU mission is excellence,” Davenport said. “This transition makes us pursue excellence like never before. OBU Athletics has the finest group of coaches in the entire NCAA Division II. Things changed for them as well. All of the rules they had worked with for years changed overnight. They have embraced those changes and we have already seen improvements in each program. These changes are not just athletic. We can now recruit and sign student-athletes who are better prepared for the rigors of OBU academics and can compete at a high level. Our graduation rates were on par with the rest of the campus before the transition. Now, those graduation rates are rising and the department-wide GPA is over a 3.0.”