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Intercollegiate athletics coming to IU Kokomo - Kokomo Perspective: Local Sports

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Intercollegiate athletics coming to IU Kokomo Chancellor Harris says men’s basketball and women’s volleyball the first two sports as university moves to NAIA Story Previous

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Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011 1:00 am

Athletics at Indiana University Kokomo have been a topic of Posted on Feb 17, 2011 discussion over the by Steve Geiselman years. Should the university field some kind of athletic team, even at the NAIA level?

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Most Recent All the discussion can end or at least take a different direction after chancellor Dr. Michael Harris tweeted the following: “IUK will begin men’s basketball and women’s volleyball. We plan more intercollegiate athletics. It’s about student success and community.”

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The prospect of intercollegiate athletics at IU Kokomo has lingered in the background for years. Now Harris said it will become a reality at the campus.

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“We are going to begin a club teams in the fall,” Harris said. “Even though it’s a club team, we will put it together in a manner that will follow all regulations of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) to make sure that when the time is right we will be able to apply and be in a conference. Our hope is to do one year of club and the following year to join the conference.”

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Hoke out at Michigan The university has had field club teams before in men’s basketball and supported a women’s softball team that played in a local recreational league. The club level men’s basketball team would often play against NAIA teams, but the club faded in the mid-1990s. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is the governing body for collegiate sports for smaller institutions, much like the NCAA is for larger school. There are 13 different sports offered by the NAIA, including basketball, soccer, wrestling, swimming and diving, and track and field. There are two

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Intercollegiate athletics coming to IU Kokomo - Kokomo Perspective: Local Sports …

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divisions within the NAIA. Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion is a Division II NAIA school, for example. Adding athletics will happen at IU Kokomo, Harris said. The effort to add athletics will be ongoing and persistent. “We will begin with men’s basketball and women’s volleyball at the club level,” he explained. “Next winter we will add at least two more sports. What the next two will be we haven’t completely determined at this point. What we want to do is start these two club teams to create enthusiasm, support and a sense of community on campus and in the city and beyond. We will grow and develop it as fast as we can develop the supporting processes.” Harris said athletics will greatly enhance the college experience for everyone involved.

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“Sports at the NAIA level is what collegiate sport is about,” he said. “It’s not about preparing tomorrow’s NBA players. It’s about kids that played through high school and want to continue to play and create a sense of

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community and pride.” Providing new experiences is key. “The way I look at it, it is an opportunity to enhance a sense of academic excellence, a sense of student success, a sense of community, a sense of belonging, a sense of pride, a sense of ownership of the community of Indiana University Kokomo and to connect students to the university,” Harris said. “The issue isn’t, do we have basketball and volleyball or we don’t. The issue is all of the great things that come with it and its impact on the community, the students and the staff. We are going to move ahead in that direction. We have a very clear vision.”

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ARTICLE: The loss of a grand lady HTML: Kokomo Perspective September 21, 2011 HTML: Kokomo Perspective September 7, 2011 ARTICLE: Kokomo Perspective August 31, 2010 ARTICLE: Sectionals see three crowned champion


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