UNA officials promote support for DI move in Red Bay
Officials from the University of North Alabama were on hand at Monday’s meeting of the Red Bay City Council to discuss the impending change from Division II to Division I and how it will affect the college’s outlying communities, such as Red Bay.
Alan Medders, vice-president for advancement, told the council the decision to move to Division I would more than likely have a positive economic effect of the areas where students are from.
Medders said the university currently has about 7,300 students enrolled and university officials hope to see growth to at least 8,000 students after the change.
“Every student that comes to UNA has a value of $22,000, which means, if our enrollment rises to over 8,000 students, that would mean $17.6 million more for the university,” Medders said.
“This means more economic growth and stability for our area and it will also help with the deficit left by our dwindling state appropriations.”
UNA’s director of athletics, Mark Linder, said from the athletic standpoint, the move was what was best for the college.
Linder said so many colleges with football teams had left their division so it would be better for UNA athletic teams to play in Division I.
Linder said the transition phase would be four years long, but they expected to be a complete Division I institution by the 2012-2013 school year.
Linder also said that to meet with certain qualifications for Division I, UNA would be looking to add two more women’s sports. Women’s golf, women’s bowling and sand volleyball are some of the possibilities that have been discussed.
“This is an exciting day for UNA athletics,” Linder said.