Once again I look at the field of teams in the NCAA men’s division I basketball tournament and I see schools very similiar to Loyola University (New Orleans).
Loyola is one of 28 schools forming the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
Jesuit schools in the NCAA Men’s Tournmant:
Xavier University (Ohio)
St. Peter’s College
On top of these AJCU schools, other universities that are very comporable to Loyola University that are in the tournament are:
University of Richmond
Pointing this out leads me to a blog I republish each year:
Either get in or get out.
And please don’t tell me that moving athletics up in classification is too hard, or impossible.
Seattle’s decision to move up was lead by former 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.
Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Gardner-Webb University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate, Stetson University
Thanks for reading.