Dear Rev. Kevin WM. Wildes, S.J.

Dear Rev. Kevin WM. Wildes, S.J.
As a former Loyola University baseball team captain (’97) I think I speak on behalf of all current and former student athletes and coaches when I say, please form an exploratory committee to research the possibility of moving the athletics program into the NCAA.
I could go on and on about the up and down history of Loyola athletics but why bore you and anyone else reading this.
Keeping this blog entry short and sweet I just want to say that it’s time for the school to make a decision.
Either get in or get out.
And please don’t tell me that moving athletics up in classification is too hard, or not possible. Seattle University is a small Jesuit University that’s currently in the process of adding sports and joining the NCAA division I.
Seattle’s decision to go division I was lead by University president Rev. Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. He and the board of trustees made the decision that moving into the highest classification of collegiate athletics makes the entire university better.
Arguably the most recognizable Jesuit colleges and universities are Georgetown, Boston College, Marquette, Gonzaga, Xavier and Fordham.
Why? Because all have achieved national athletic recognition.
How many people log onto the Gonzaga University website each year during the NCAA’s March madness?
Probably a lot more than the Loyola New Orleans website.
Of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities playing sports, 21 are NCAA division I.
5 other Jesuit schools are division II or III.
Only Loyola New Orleans and Spring Hill College are members of the NAIA.
Rev. Wildes, if you get behind the idea of moving athletics to a new level, advancing into the NCAA can happen.
I had numerous conversations with your predecessor, Bernard Knoth, but he never seemed very interested in pursuing this idea.
So I ask that you make athletics part of your legacy.
Now, if you did get behind this idea, would certain university factions stand against you? Absolutely.
But moving athletics up to the NCAA level helps the university. Just like in Seattle, more students and alumni would join your cause than oppose you.
An idea that may garner even more support would be to partner with Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama and apply for NCAA membership together with the intentions of moving into the same conference.
2 schools with high academic standards and tremendous history in their respective cities would make the NCAA and prospective conferences take notice.
I’ve even found 2 new conferences (that do not sponsor football teams) that would welcome Loyola and Spring Hill with open arms upon NCAA division I admission.

The Atlantic Sun Conference and the Summit League.

The Summit League consists of 10 schools representing 9 states and these universities are all over the place….from Louisiana to North Dakota! (3 private universities and 7 public universities form the Summit League)
Centenary College of Louisiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, University of Missouri-Kansas City, North Dakota State University, Oakland University, Oral Roberts University, South Dakota State University, Southern Utah University, Western Illinois University
Am I dreaming to believe that a Loyola president and the board of trustees will get behind the idea of Division I athletics? Probably, but I’ve been on this soap box since 1995…and I’m not ready to step down yet!

Thanks for reading.

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One Response

  1. I agree: Loyola’s athletic program needs to move into the NCAA. The University of Notre Dame’s – – another Catholic university – – athletic program is part of the NCAA.

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