UC San Diego Students Vote To Fund Move To Division I

Undergraduate students at the University of California San Diego voted to raise student athletic fees, the first step in the long process of jumping from the NCAA’s Division II to Division I.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that students voted to more than double their student athletics fees (the amount built into student tuition that helps fund a school’s athletic department) in order to help UCSD make the leap, with almost 70% of students supporting the move.

The Union-Tribune said the results “could be a historic vote,” especially after two previous votes to move to Division I failed. The most recent was in 2012 – that proposal saw 51% of the student population vote, while the current vote included only 35% of eligible voters, according to The Union-Tribune.

The vote is only one step in what would be a long adjustment process – the current target wouldn’t see UCSD as full-fledged Division I members until 2023 at the earliest.

The increase in student fees is contingent on UCSD earning an invitation to the Big West Conference. The school applied in 2010 but was passed over for Hawaii. Now, 7 of 9 Big West schools must accept UCSD’s application for the process to continue moving forward.

From there, UCSD must spend two years increasing their scholarship amounts from Division II levels to the levels required for NCAA Division I application. The school must then apply with the NCAA and eventually begin the 4-year process of joining Division I – that process includes a period where the school’s athletes are not eligible to compete at Division I NCAAs.

The move to Division I would cap a fast rise for the school’s athletic program, which jumped from Division III to Division II back in the 1990s.

The Triton swimming & diving program currently competes in the Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC), where they have won 8 consecutive conference titles in both genders.

UCSD would have to find a separate conference for swimming & diving, as the Big West hasn’t offered swimming since 2010. Most of the former Big West swimming & diving programs have moved over to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Though The Union-Tribune reports that UCSD – which doesn’t have a football program – would face major challenges in some sports, like basketball, with a move to Division I, the swimming & diving program would currently be pretty competitive in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

UCSD competed against a number of Division I programs at last year’s A3 Invite in November, finishing 5th of 14 teams on the women’s side and 4th out of 8 on the men’s side.

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beachair
6 years ago

Except for UC Davis’ swim program (other sports at UCD have not fared well at all), the move up for Calif school from division 2 (Cal Poly, CSU Northridge, UC Irvine, Cal State LA, and CSU Bakersfield) has not gone well. Put those teams back in D2 and you have very competitive programs, but, more importantly, you give Calif. kids that don’t have D! credentials the opportunity to participate. Only Cal Berkeley of the State schools competes well at D1.
Sad to see it happen at UCSD, but that’s what the student body (wonder what the % of students actually voted) wanted. Into the breach, young man…and woman.

Brad Flood
Reply to  beachair
6 years ago

Here’s your answer on the % of the student body that actually participated in the vote:

.”…..the current vote included only 35% of eligible voters, according to The Union-Tribune.”

“…..with almost 70% of students supporting the move.”

So 70% of the 35% of the student body, less than 25% of the full student body, makes such an important decision? Really???

beachair
Reply to  Brad Flood
6 years ago

It’s relatively easy to pass a referendum at a state university: you just need to target the voting percentage and present a compelling argument for a “yes” or “no” vote. Apparently, the people who proposed the initiative really did their homework and had a need for the “yes” vote.
I can’t really see why UCSD, a viable D3 and D2 institution would want to go D1, unless the coffers were barren. Throwing the kids to the power conferences for a few bucks is a hollow victory. Only the people in the offices with ocean views know the reason, unless the coaches really wanted the move…

Jjd
Reply to  beachair
6 years ago

Define “has not gone well”

Gina
6 years ago

UCSD should join the the UIAC

The Undocumented Illegal & Aliens Conference .

Gina ftw
Reply to  Gina
6 years ago

Gina, just wanna let you know youre comments are awesome and please keep em comin. I hope we can be friends someday.

G.I.N.A.
Reply to  Gina ftw
6 years ago

Awwwh thank you -that is so sweet . I am going to print that out .

Dan
6 years ago

It would be great if UCSD moving to division 1 was the catalyst that brings swimming back to the Big West. It was a solid mid-major conference that had a good number of Olympians over the years.

taa
6 years ago

I don’t see where the money to support this is going to come from? Its seems like at best they can try to mimic what UCSB has right now. At least its in a really nice area in La Jolla while Isla Vista is a slum.

Secondarily I think its pretty sad how far the funding of the UC schools has fallen. California has the economic output of the top 10 nations in the world but we cant fund our university system and UCLA still has no men’s team(even after signing the $280M contract?). In terms of swimming California has enough age group swimmers to fill the rosters at all these UC schools and if they all had teams how… Read more »

Brad Flood
Reply to  taa
6 years ago

TAA, if your “bus ride” comment is in reply to my “budgetary crisis” comment above, please understand that my comments refer to the ALL sports supported by the athletics department, not solely the swimming team(s). Once they go DI and join a “home” conference, they will be required to play all the other schools in the “home” conference in all the team sports and many of the “individual” sports as well, at least all those that have a “home” conference sponsored championship.

With the exception of adding scholarships (from 0 to 14 for women and 0 – 9.9 for men), the swimming budget will not necessarily increase that much, however, the overall athletic department budget will go through the roof… Read more »

TAA
Reply to  Brad Flood
6 years ago

my comment was more a general comment about the funding provided to the sports programs of all the California universities. Swimming is like football in that a ton of talent leaves the state when its time to go to college. We should have a lot more D1 programs at our California universities and then we currently do. So if I had a vote I would tell UCSD to go for it and to make the finances work.

I doubt those students that approved the fee were provided accurate financial information about the costs and requirements of division 1 sports and that is unfortunate. My kids love Bernie Sanders cause he promises “free college” and its that logic that probably… Read more »

Jjd
Reply to  Brad Flood
6 years ago

Brad,
Let’s not kid ourselves. There is no way UCSD is even going to come close to fully funding 9.9 men’s swim scholarships and 14 women’s scholarships even if they do make the move to DI

Jjd
Reply to  taa
6 years ago

280 million from UnderArmor probably has very little to do with why UCLA doesn’t have men’s swimming. It probably has a lot more to do with title 9 compliance. All those scholarships for football have to be balanced out. It’s much easier and cost effective to cut Men’s sports than to add women’s

TAA
Reply to  Jjd
6 years ago

Make yoga an NCAA sport?

Brad Flood
6 years ago

OMG, just another example of chasing the “green” on the other side of the fence, that doesn’t exist! Bad move, BAD move! Better to be a BIG fish in a small pond, than an almost non-existent fish in a HUGE ocean!

Having coached at both DII and DI, with the DI experience ranging between 3 Major conferences (Big 10, SWC & ACC) to a small mid-major that had converted from DII to DI 9 years prior to my arrival (and we scored 24th at Men’s 2001 NCAA meet), I can attest that these schools looking to go DI in hopes of getting a piece of the BIG $$$ pie, are chasing a pipe dream! And I’m not just talking about… Read more »

SwimPop
6 years ago

Did I miss something?
Cal State Northridge cut swimming 6 or 7 years ago, I think.
Big West doesn’t have swimming.
Mountain West has SDSU, Nevada, Boise State, New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming, CSU, AFA, SJSU…
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) has Cal Poly, Pacific, UC Davis, UCSB, Hawaii, San Diego, BYU…

Is UCSD asking in at MPSF or Mountain West?

SwimPop
Reply to  Jared Anderson
6 years ago

Got it- thanks for clarifying! My kid is starting to look at all these schools and we are finding that conference affiliation is a more important aspect than we originally thought.

Aquabullet
6 years ago

Good school, great climate, awesome facilities – depending on conference and funding it’s a powerhouse in the making.

swim
Reply to  Aquabullet
6 years ago

I don’t see it….they struggled in D2

socalswimmom
Reply to  Aquabullet
6 years ago

agree, give them time to prove it !

socalswimmom
Reply to  socalswimmom
6 years ago

I meant, I agree with Aquabullet. I don’t agree that they have struggled in D2. As the article says both the men and women have won their conference for the last 8 years by significant margins. The UCSD women were third this year at D2 NCAAs despite losing a projected multiple event and relay scoring swimmer to a serious illness just before the meet. In 2015, the entire team caught a intestinal virus from food while at NCAAs which kind of decimated the team in a year that both the men and women had a good chance to score well . They have been consistently ranked high in the D2 coaches polls. The men have had NCAA D2 Champions in… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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