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June 13, 2004

Aggies Prep For “The Show”

FROM CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL VALLEY comes a glowing progress report from the University of California-Davis on its preparation for entrance in the ranks of college’s major league: Division I.

UCD has just completed its first of four years of transition to full-fledged Division I prominence. Despite draconian budget cuts on higher education due to California’s severe fiscal problems, the UCD has been able to keep up its expansion commitment, albeit with slightly longer completion dates.

For example, the school has recently completed two new athletics buildings: the Schaal Aquatic Center and the Activities and Recreation Center. Plus women's golf has been added, as the 26th varsity sport.

Also, construction on a $30 million stadium for football and lacrosse teams will begin in the spring of 2005. Seating capacity will be 12,000, with another 20,000 seats to be added later.

The Aggies have already experienced a noteworthy uptick in the level of competition. No longer will foes be the somewhat anonymous Chico, Humboldt, Stanislaus and Hayward of the D2 California Collegiate Athletic Association. Instead, next year UCD will play top D1 basketball teams such Stanford, St. Joseph's, Nevada and Pacific. Also, the UCD wrestlers will grapple with the perennial top program in the country: Iowa.

UCD became part of the Great West Football Conference with existing—and soon to be—D1 programs: Cal Poly and Southern Utah (existing D1 programs) and North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Northern Colorado (soon-to-be D1 programs).

You’re known by the company you keep.

(this 248 word excerpt was extracted from a 1151 word article from the Davis [CA] Enterprise of 6-6-04)