KANSAS CITY – The NAIA Council of Presidents officially voted to approve moving basketball from a two division sport to one for both men and women beginning with the 2020-2021 season on Monday.
“It is time to move forward and make the most out of NAIA basketball that we can,” GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra said. “It is one of the highest exposure sports we have in the NAIA and with the longstanding history it has. Today we know the new direction and we work together to be the best we can be.”
Basketball was the last NAIA sport that consisted of two divisions. The only other decision that was made was to set the scholarship limit at eight for the single division. Previously, Division I schools had a scholarship maximum of 11 while Division II is at six.
Grace College won the first NAIA Division II national championship in 1992. Bethel College won NAIA Division II national titles in 1995, 1997 and 1998.
Indiana Wesleyan University won the NAIA Division II national championship last month by defeating Saint Francis of Fort Wayne 84-71 in the title game in South Dakota. Former Warsaw star Kyle Mangas, a freshman guard at IWU, was named MVP of the National Tournament this year.
IWU, along with Saint Francis, Grace and Bethel, are all members of the Crossroads League. Former Warsaw star Kyle Mangas, a freshman guard at IWU, was named MVP of the National Tournament this year.
The NAIA did not release any further information on the future of the national tournament as far as number of teams and host sites. Those issues are likely to be addressed this summer at the National Administrative Council meeting in Washington D.C.