Dear Rev. Kevin WM. Wildes, S.J.

It’s that time of year.  As I filled out my bracket for March madness I couldn’t resist picking small catholic universities.  My bias toward schools like Gonzaga, Sienna and Xavier is no doubt due to the fact that I attended catholic school from kindergarden through college.
I just wish my university would one day come to the realization that NCAA division I athletics would push the school toward national recgonition and generate countless dollars in donations.
I wrote the blog below one year ago and figured I’d post it again.    
—————————————————————————————
Dear Rev. Kevin WM. Wildes, S.J.
As a former Loyola University baseball team captain (’97) I beg you to form an exploratory committee to research the possibility of moving the athletics program into the NCAA division I.
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.
Some of 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, 23 are NCAA division I.
3 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 no doubt seriously consider Loyola and Spring Hill.

 

The Atlantic Sun Conference and the Summit League.
As far as travel goes, the A-Sun would be perfect!

 

 

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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4 Responses

  1. Fletcher,

    Just wanted to let you know that we at Loyola appreciate your attention! As a fellow alum, I am glad to see you applying those Wolfpack critical thinking skills to the status and future of Wolfpack athletics.

    Dr. Giorlando and Loyola’s coaches have our programs moving in the right direction in every way–in the athletic and academic skills and habits of Loyola teams, but (most importantly) in the quality of their character.

    Go, Wolfpack!

  2. Totally agree Fletcher. Many Loyola alums feel the same way. And they can build a football stadium at the Fly.

  3. I definitely agree, Fletcher: Loyola really needs to consider moving their athletics program into the NCAA Division I.

  4. Hey Fletcher,

    You scooped The Maroon!
    But I totally agree. But word on the street is Loyola is trying to go Division 3 instead.

    Love,
    Jaune’ (your favorite intern)

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