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October 14, 2004

Cliché Of The Day: Level The Playing Field

FROM WHERE THE BUFFALO (USED TO) ROAM comes analysis and consideration from yet another D2 school on the viability of going D1. The University of North Dakota powers-that-be are currently weighing the pros and cons for making the move.

UND’s traditional in-state rival (North Dakota State University) has already announced its move up to D1, plus regional “neighbors” South Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Montana, Montana State and Weber State are already D1 schools.

Now UND will be sitting somewhat isolated in several sports. They opted not to play NDSU in basketball and football this year. That’s too bad, because their football rivalry dates back to 1894.

UND’s decision will revolve largely around a NCAA vote early next year regarding D2 football scholarships. There is a proposal afoot to reduce D2 football scholarships from 36 to 24 to ensure the proverbial “level playing field” (more than half of D2 football teams award 24 or less football scholarships).
UND—with 36 scholarships—has been a perennial D2 football powerhouse, along with Grand Valley State, and Pittsburg (KS) State.

If the football scholarships are reduced to 24, that might well be a motivator for UND to make the D1 jump.

Money, as always, could be a problem.

UND president Charles Kupchella said, "We will need a minimum of $5 to $10 million endowed. We know it will cost a lot and there's not much we can expect to gain from it."

The Arms Race is alive and well on the Great Plains.

More later . . . .


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(this 255 word excerpt—with attendant commentary—was distilled from a 2085 word article in the Grand Forks Herald of 10-10-04)