GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 31, 2016) — Bob Jones University President Steve Pettit announced Wednesday evening that BJU’s intercollegiate athletic programs will transition to DII of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), effective July 1. With the exception of the women’s soccer program which transitioned to DII in 2013, the Bruins have competed at the NCCAA DI level since 2012. The decision was made upon recommendation of the Bruins Athletic department.
“As we continue to grow and expand our intercollegiate sports programs, I’m thankful for the leadership of our athletic department and the incredible testimony of our student athletes in and out of competition,” said Steve Pettit. “This move will enhance the overall experience of our student athletes.”
In compliance with existing NCCAA regulations in place at the time BJU began intercollegiate athletics in 2012, we competed at the DI level. At this level, student athletes typically are awarded athletic scholarships. The Bruins are one of the only DI programs in the country to not offer athletic scholarships, and a move to DII is in the best interest of our student athletes.
In 2015, the NCCAA announced changes in division structure, including the realignment of regions across the country into four regions. This consolidation allowed the existing NCCAA DII south region to expand and presented a good fit for the Bruins. BJU will now compete in the postseason against opponents such as Pensacola Christian College, Toccoa Falls College, Piedmont International University and other non-scholarship DII schools. However, each program remains committed to regular season schedules that include NCAA, NAIA and NCCAA DI and DII opponents.
“We have been praying and considering this move for a while,” Bruins athletic director Neal Ring said. “I am pleased to follow the president’s vision in helping our student athletes use their God-given athletic talent as a platform for ministry.”
With the addition of women’s volleyball, distance track and shooting sports, BJU will offer 13 varsity sports this fall. All programs will begin competition at the DII level in the fall of 2016.