“This was a significant decision and one that the association did not take lightly,” said NAIA President Jim Carr. “However, for an organization of our size, one basketball division makes the most sense both financially and logistically.”
Previously, the NAIA had single divisions in men’s and women’s basketball until 1992, when two divisions were created to better accommodate a range of school sizes and the varying number of scholarships schools could award. However, over the last seven years, the difference between the average aid awarded at Division I and II schools had narrowed considerably.
The COP vote concluded nearly two years of NAIA basketball research and data analysis, led by a task force of representatives from NAIA member institutions.
The men’s DI tournament has been held at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. for the last 17 years and it is anticipated to be contracted through 2020. It is also expected that the men’s DII tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., women’s DI tournament in Billings, Mont., and women’s DII tournament in Sioux City, Iowa will continue at their respective host sites through 2020.
“The NAIA has a long history with Municipal Auditorium and although we have yet to negotiate future contracts, our hope is to keep the men’s tournament in Kansas City,” said Carr.