Southern Indiana Moves from Division II to Division I

University Of Southern Indiana Athletics Logo (1)

The University of Southern Indiana last week officially made the jump to an NCAA Division I school, as it assumed its place in the Ohio Valley Conference on Friday. 

USI accepted an invitation to join the conference back in February, with the NCAA later approving the school's move from Division II to Division I. 

The school is in the process of changing signage and preparing for the move.

“Now that we’re a Division I institution, we’re getting more phone calls returned, getting more emails returned, getting more high school, AAU, youth coaches that really want to know more about us,” USI athletic director Jon Mark Hall told 14 News. “We’re working now to make sure we have OVC presence at the baseball field, the softball field, the tennis courts, the soccer field – we’re excited about getting that going. We’re just anxious to get to the fall where we can compete and then things will start to feel a little more back to normal for all of us.”

Hall said the move will also increase the athletic department's budget. 

“Over the four-year process, we’ve talked about moving our budget from $6.5 to $6.6 million, up to $12 million, so it’s close to double that,” Hall said. “That’s going to take some time, it’s a process, it’s not going to happen all at once, but it’s definitely a bigger investment in scholarships, a bigger investment in staffing.”

Hall said the school's move from the Great Lakes Valley Conference to the Ohio Valley Conference made sense in terms of a geography and travel concerns. 

“Little Rock will be our longest one in conference, and that’s somewhat similar to us going to Kansas City when we were in the GLVC,” Hall said.

There is a four-year reclassification process mandated by the NCAA, meaning USI can compete for conference championships, but will not be eligible to compete for NCAA championships yet. 

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